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3-Food: U.S. commodity retailer ADM offers GE-free products

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TITLE:  ADM prepared to offer GMO-free foods
SOURCE: Reuters, by Anna Driver
DATE:   June 16, 1999

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ADM prepared to offer GMO-free foods

MINNEAPOLIS, June 16 (Reuters) - The chief of Archer Daniels
Midland Co. said Wednesday that his commodity processing company
can offer to European food markets U.S. products guaranteed not
to be derived from genetically altered crops, but that the
guarantee will come at a premium. "We have created identity
preserved systems, and we have them available to be able to
provide Europe with the materials they need that are non-GMO
(genetically modified organisms)," Allen Andreas, chairman and
chief executive officer of ADM, told Reuters at the U.S. Bancorp
Piper Jaffray investment conference. But there's no question that
it is going to be more expensive if they are not going to accept
any genetically modified materials in the European food
environment," he said.

General concerns about food safety have heightened in Europe
recently following the discovery of dioxin contamination in some
foods in Belgium. Also, a recent U.S. study showing that the
pollen from corn genetically altered to resist the European corn
borer pest could harm Monarch butterfly populations renewed
lingering worries in Europe about the safety of GMO crops.

ADM said it is well positioned to offer segregated or identity
preserved crops because their operations are vast enough and
often reach all the way from the farmer's field to the delivery
of a processed food ingredient. "We're really in a positive
position with respect to being able to supply them (Europe) with
non-GMO products because we control the whole process," Andreas
said. "We can start with non-GMO materials and run them through
our system on an identity preserved basis."

For example, ADM has an arrangement with DuPont that offers U.S.
farmers a contract premium for growing soybeans that are not
genetically altered, Andreas said. ADM has said that DuPont
expects to offer contracts to plant the GMO-free soybeans on 9
million to 10 million acres this year. Despite the commodity
processing giant's efforts to offer non-GMO crops to some
markets, Andreas reiterated his company's support of crop
genetics. "We're really highly supportive of all the genetic
research that is going on, and we're using many of those products
as they are approved from a safety and health viewpoint in a
variety of markets across the world," he said. Soybeans that have
been genetically altered to resist powerful herbicides and corn
altered to resist certain pests have proven to be very popular
with U.S. farmers.

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