Global Opposition to US/Monsanto
Plan for GE Wheat

Pesticide Action Network <>
Countries Say NO to Genetically Engineered Wheat

According to Dawn Forsythe, public affairs director for U.S. Wheat
Associates: The top 10 importers of hard red spring (HRS) wheat (the variety in which
the Roundup Ready gene will make its debut) account for 77% of the total HRS
wheat exports in 2001. Buyers in Japan, the European Union and Korea have
repeatedly and definitively stated they will not accept genetically engineered wheat,
at any tolerance. Last year, buyers in those three countries bought 44% of total
HRS exports.Release Date for GM Wheat is 2005,April 9, 2002, Farm Journal.

Japan (imported 3.12 million metric tons of U.S. wheat in 2001)
Board members of the Japan Flour Millers Association (JFMA) adopted a
position statement that outlined their
concerns about genetically engineered wheat. It stated that Under the
circumstances, flour millers strongly doubt that
any bakery, noodle and confectionary products made of genetically engineered
wheat or even conventional wheat that
may contain genetically engineered wheat will be accepted in the Japanese
market. The JFMA is comprised of 36 large
flour millers who have more than 90% of the total wheat market share in
Japanese millers state opposition to GM wheat-group, Washington DC,
February 22, 2001, Reuters.
Japan¹s Food Agency announced that it would not purchase genetically
engineered wheat, even if it is approved for sale
in Japan. The reason cited was food safety concerns by consumers. Earlier
that year (2001), Japan¹s wheat millers said
they would not use genetically engineered wheat. According to the report,
Japan¹s negative responseŠin the wake of
the StarLink corn issue, highlights the importance of U.S. industry and
government coordination on genetically
engineered wheat development, safety assessment, distribution and
commercialization.Anti-GMO Sentiments Thrive Overseas, Dale McDonald, Rooster News Network,
October 26, 2001.
According to a 2001 poll, almost 88% of Japanese consumers do not feel
comfortable buying genetically engineered
February 2001 Public Poll by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Finance
Corporation (conducted for the Minister of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries and Minister of Finance)
A poll conducted in July 2000 by the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun
found that more than three fifths of
Japanese consumers ‹ 61% ‹ say they are concerned about genetically
engineered foods. This poll followed another
conducted earlier that year by an American company, which found that 82% of
Japanese consumers view the GMO
food trend as negative.Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo) cited in New Poll of Japanese Consumers on GMOs,August 14, 2000, Cropchoice News,
Carole Burke, editor of Japan¹s Food Industry Bulletin, stated Japanese
consumers are very concerned about food
quality and safety in general, and are very skeptical about the safety of
genetically engineered foods.Japan¹s top two brewers, Asahi and Kirin, eliminated genetically engineered
ingredients several years ago. Says Burke,
All leading food-processing companies in Japan are very conscious of
consumers¹ fear of genetically engineered
foods. Market leaders in all segments of the food industry are demanding
GE-free commodities, and the menus of major
restaurant chains note their foods are GE-free.Saying No to Transgenic Crops, Far Eastern Economic Review, June 14, 2001
More than 15 Japanese consumer groups sent an open letter to Australian
and New Zealand Farmers and Agribusinesses
requesting that the farmers and agriculture industries plant and segregate
adequate quantities of non-genetically
engineered cotton and other crops to meet the needs of their export markets.
Consumers Union of Japan, Open letter to Farmers, Codex NGO Forum in Japan,
November 16, 1999.

European Union (imported 1.43million metric tonnes of U.S. wheat in 2001)
European buyers of U.S. spring wheat said there was no market for
genetically modified (GM) wheat in Europe and warned
they would take their business elsewhere if U.S. farmers began planting such
crops. We will never be in the market for it,said Kjetil Gran Bergsholm, a trader at Norwegian importer Stakorn. He said
Norway bought 30,000-40,000 tonnes of highquality
wheat each year, and he chose between supplies from the United States,
Canada and Kazakhstan based on price. We
have to listen to our customers, and they don¹t want GM wheat. If the U.S.
goes ahead with this, we¹d have to turn to Canada
and Kazakhstan to get those supplies, he said.
European Buyers Warn U.S. Over Gene Wheat Plans, Greg Frost, February 2,
2001, Reuters
A 2001 European Union opinion poll shows that 70.9% do not want
genetically engineered food.
Eurobarometer 55.2, December 2001, Europeans, science and technology,available at http:/
A Market & Opinion Research International (MORI) poll in Denmark, France,
Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and
Sweden (January 9, 1997) found that the majority of Europeans surveyed do
not want genetically engineered food. 78% of
Swedes, 77% of French, 65% of the Italians and Dutch, 63% of Danes and 53%
of British said they were unhappy to eat it. A
previous study in Germany found that 78% of those surveyed were opposed to
food derived from genetic engineering.
The Public Says ŒNo¹ to Genetically Engineered Food: A Greenpeace Report,April 1997,

Korea (imported 1.4 million metric tons of U.S. wheat in 2001)
A 2001 survey of Korean consumers found that 76% would not buy food
labeled genetically engineered.
Surveys regarding GMOs in 2001 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
of Korea, obtained from the Korean Consulate, San Francisco,
California, July 2002.
Pulmuone, Korea¹s largest maker of tofu and soybean products, announced in
July 2000 that it would stop using genetically
engineered soybeans. The company suffered a significant drop in sales after
the Korea Consumer Protection Board disclosed
that the company used genetically engineered soy in the majority of its tofu
products produced and sold in Korea.
Pulmuone to stop using GM beans, The Korea Herald, July 28, 2000

Egypt (imported 4.7 million metric tons of U.S. wheat in 2001)
David Payne, director of Louis Dreyfus Negoce, one of the world¹s largest
agricultural commodity trading companies, stated
that, It¹s definitely become an issue in the Middle East. People just don¹t
want it (genetically engineered wheat).GM Concern Could Mar US Wheat Sales to Egypt, February 9, 2002, Reuters.
The director of the Egyptian Food Industries Holding Co., which buys some
1.5 million tonnes of wheat each year, told U.S.
Wheat Associates board members during a visit in 2000 that his company did
not want to buy genetically engineered wheat.
GM wheat may be marketing nightmare ‹ U.S. industry, March 15, 2000,
Representatives of Egyptian millers attending a Middle East regional
agriculture conference reiterated their intention to reject
any wheat that contains traces of genetically modified material.
February 11, 2002 CropChoice News (Source: Reuters) at

This fact sheet was prepared by Pesticide Action Network North America, July
Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America) advocates
adoption of ecologically
sound practices in place of hazardous pesticides and genetically engineered
crops. PAN North America has
over 100 affiliated groups in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., providing
technical support and participating in
joint projects with partner non-govermental organizations in Africa, Asia
and the Americas. For more
information visit

PAN North America is one of the founding members of the Genetically
Engineered Food Alert Campaign.
Genetically Engineered Food Alert is a coalition of organizations concerned
with the protection of consumers
rights, public health and the environment. In an effort to better educate
the public, Genetically Engineered Food
Alert has launched a nationwide campaign about the risks associated with
genetically engineered foods. For
more information visit
Pesticide Action Network North America
49 Powell Street, #500 San Francisco, CA 94102
phone (415) 981-1771 fax (415) 981-1991

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