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7-Business: Will Monsanto's "Bottom-Line Booster Guarantee" and Gidding's anti-cancer broccoli rescue GE-agriculture?

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TITLE:  A) Monsanto garantees Roundup Ready system will improve
           soybean production
        B) Consumer resistance to GM foods won't last 10 years,
           says expert
SOURCE: A) Pro Farmer, USA,
        B) Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, by Andrew Stevenson
DATE:   A) July 31, 2000
        B) August 8, 2000

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A) Monsanto garantees Roundup Ready system will improve soybean 

You've seen conflicting reports on whether "conventional" or "Roundup 
Ready" soybeans deliver the best yields and bottom line. This fall, 
Monsanto will offer a guarantee that a full program with burndown, 
Roundup Ready beans and Roundup over the top will improve profits in 
2001. We'll let today's Monsanto release explain the details:

Research shows the Roundup Ready system can boost a soybean grower's 
bottom line. That's why Monsanto is offering the Bottom-Line Booster 
Guarantee. The program encourages growers to compare the Roundup 
Ready soybean system in reduced tillage to non-Roundup Ready soybeans 
with conventional tillage and herbicide programs. If the Roundup 
Ready system doesn't provide equal or better net income than the 
traditional system in the comparison, Monsanto will pay each 
qualified grower up to $10,000. The Roundup Ready soybean system has 
three major components: Replace tillage with a preplant burndown 
using Roundup Ultra(R) or Roundup UltraMAX(TM) herbicide, Buy Roundup 
Ready soybean seed from any authorized dealer, and Spray Roundup 
brand herbicide over the top for proven crop safety.

"Farmers like the weed control they get with Roundup over the top of 
Roundup Ready soybeans, but the economic benefits are displayed when 
farmers use the whole system, including reduced tillage," says 
Monsanto market manager Kurt Rahe. "With the Bottom-Line Booster 
Guarantee, farmers have everything to win and nothing to lose by 
making the switch to conservation tillage and Roundup Ready soybeans."

Research at Monsanto Centers of Excellence shows that, on average, no-
till soybeans grown in narrow rows add $16 per acre more to a 
grower's bottom line than conventional soybeans grown in wide rows, 
notes Rahe. "Seeding soybeans in no-till, or in a conservation-
tillage system with a spring burndown program following limited fall 
tillage, saves time and money at planting, and yields are at least as 
good as conventional soybeans in wide rows," he says. "On a 1,000-
acre farm, no-till can save as much as 450 hours of time and 3,500 
gallons of diesel fuel each year. ThatŐs eleven 40-hour weeks in time 
savings and $4,000 less for diesel at $1.15 per gallon."

Qualifying farmers must sign up by Oct. 15, 2000, indicating the 
number of no-till/ conservation-tillage acres they will enroll in the 
Bottom-Line Booster Guarantee and how many acres of soybeans, both 
Roundup Ready and non-Roundup Ready, they intend to plant in crop 
year 2001 compared to 2000. The Bottom-Line Booster Guarantee is now 
available in most of the Plains, Midwest and Eastern United States, 
except for certain counties in Missouri, Virginia, New Mexico, 
Oklahoma and Texas.

For more details, complete eligibility requirements and program 
rules, contact your Monsanto representative or your agricultural 
retailer, or call 1-800-ROUNDUP.


B) Consumer resistance to GM foods won't last 10 years, says expert

One of the world's leading advocates of biotechnology has warned 
Australian farmers to "hedge their bets" if they believe they can 
garner a premium for non-genetically modified foods. Dr Val Giddings, 
formerly a senior US agricultural bureaucrat and now vice-president 
for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Association, 
predicts it will take less than a decade for consumers to embrace GM 
foods. Despite consumer resistance to GM foods, Dr Giddings argues 
that farmers would be wrong to think GM-free status would ever be 
worth money. "I would advise them very strongly to hedge their bets, 
because our experience has been that they're not going to get it," he 

Dr Giddings will address a series of farmer and industry forums 
organised this week by the NSW Grain Growers Association. While 
Europe remained the centre of GM resistance, Dr Giddings argued that 
the advantages of biotechnology would quickly sweep away any 
opposition. "I've got two kids, a daughter who's six and a son who's 
two. If I can keep them out of the paths of on-rushing vehicles they 
are probably going to live until they're 100," he said. "From their 
20s they will be routinely going to the doctors, having a drop of 
blood drawn and analysed to identify their hereditary proclivities to 
degenerative diseases and they will work out prescriptions for 
improved [GM] carrots or strawberries which will contain nutrients 
that will help forestall the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer's 
and cancer."

There would not be a single "magic bullet" product that would turn 
around consumer attitudes, but functional foods - the so-called 
nutriceuticals - would start to appear within three years. Anti-
cancer broccoli would be among the first, Dr Giddings said. "You 
could see one field of wheat or potatoes used to produce the world's 
blood-clotting agents to treat all hemophiliacs and it will be worth 
$10 million in harvest." A moratorium would perpetuate obsolete 
farming practices and kill off inquiries already leading to new 
products with substantial benefits for consumers, he warned. 


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