2-Plants: Roundup Ready wheat could prove costly, NFU told
- To: GENETfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: 2-Plants: Roundup Ready wheat could prove costly, NFU told
- From: GENET <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 11:30:44 +0100
- Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
- Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
- Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
genet-news mailing list
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------
TITLE: Roundup Ready wheat could prove costly, NFU told
SOURCE: The StarPhoenix, Canada, by Murray Lyons
DATE: Nov 23, 2002
------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------
Roundup Ready wheat could prove costly, NFU told
Roundup Ready wheat could cost Prairie farmers $12 to $20 more per acre to
farm, according to a University of Manitoba weed specialist who suggested
introducing a genetically modified (GM) wheat would cancel the advantages
of direct seeding.
Rene Van Acker was part of a panel discussion Friday afternoon at the
National Farmers Union annual convention.
He has been a critic of any plan by Monsanto Corp. to introduce the yet-to-
be-government-approved Roundup Ready wheat varieties that have been out in
test plots across the Prairies in the past few years.
While it is well established pollen from Roundup Ready and the rival
Liberty Link canola varieties spreads from canola flowers to traditional
varieties of canola and causes outcrossing, Van Acker said wheat breeders
have long known that certain varieties of wheat are also capable of
Already farmers who direct seed are having to tank mix a chemical such as
MCPA at added cost to add to their glyphosate (Roundup) when they burn off
weeds in their fields prior to seeding to kill volunteer Roundup Ready
Van Acker said that extra tank mixing costs will multiply if Roundup Ready
wheat is introduced.
"It will add between 12 and 20 bucks an acre for both the adopter of the
technology and the non-adopter," he said.
With more than 20 million acres of cropland in direct seeding, Van Acker
says this could cost Prairie farmers $320-$400 million in additional costs.
Van Acker says volunteer GM canola varieties have moved up from being
nowhere, to the No. 9 problem weed in a Manitoba study.
He says the extent of pollen outcrossing in canola is such that it has
become impossible for registered seed growers of non-GM canola varieties
from preventing anywhere up to two per cent of the seed they sell from
being contaminated with GM seed.
Van Acker says agronomics are one thing, but GM wheat presents a marketing
While it is relatively simple to screen out tiny volunteer canola seeds
that end up in a bin of wheat, Van Acker asked how it would be possible to
remove a Roundup Resistant wheat variety in a bin of oats or barley when
one grain is so much like another.
He points out food processing companies and breweries have said they don't
want GM varieties in their products.
"If you introduce GM wheat, what is the collateral market damage?" Van
Acker asked. "There's more than the wheat market to worry about."
Reached at Monsanto Canada headquarters, spokesperson Trish Jordan said the
company understands it has to address all the agronomic issues related to
Roundup Ready wheat.
She says the company is relying on studies which show the spread of wheat
pollen in fields in minimal and management of volunteers will "not be a
"We have to develop comprehensive stewardship programs and best management
practice recommendations for the technology," she said.
Jordan says most farmers who direct seed already tank mix other chemicals
with Roundup to get rid of volunteers.
"The bottom line in this whole discussion is to introduce this product in a
way that delivers a net benefit for the farmer, both for those who adopt
the technology and especially for non-adopters.
"If we can't introduce it in a way that produces a net benefit to the
farmer, there will be no point in introducing it."
| GENET |
| European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering |
| Hartmut MEYER (Mr) |
| Kleine Wiese 6 |
| D - 38116 Braunschweig |
| Germany |
| phone: +49-531-5168746 |
| fax: +49-531-5168747 |
| mobile: +49-162-1054755 |
| email: firstname.lastname@example.org |