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2-Plants: North Dakota Farm Bureau changed policy on GE wheat

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                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Farm Bureau Changes Biotech Wheat Policy
SOURCE: Associated Press/Austin American-Statesman, USA, by Blake Nicholson
DATE:   Nov 26, 2002

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Farm Bureau Changes Biotech Wheat Policy

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP)--The North Dakota Farm Bureau has changed its policy on 
biotech wheat, favoring a "cautious approach" to commercialization rather 
than a moratorium. Delegates to the farm group's recent annual meeting 
voted 56-49 to make the change, said spokesman Brian Kramer. State Farm 
Bureau President Eric Aasmundstad said Monday that the change of the year-
old policy "brings us more in line with the core philosophy of our 
organization." "We're very supportive of free enterprise. Let the market 
dictate what is going to happen," Aasmundstad said.

Many farmers and officials worry that biotech wheat could harm producers 
because some U.S. export customers have said they do not want it. State 
lawmakers in 2001 rejected a two-year ban on genetically engineered wheat 
seed and instead called for a study of the issues surrounding 
biotechnology. The Legislature next year will consider a bill that sets up 
a state board to monitor the development of genetically engineered wheat. 
The 12-member board would be made up largely of farmers, grain industry 
officials and state officials.

The North Dakota Farmers Union still supports a state-imposed moratorium on 
biotech wheat, said spokesman Bob Kjelland. That group's annual convention 
is slated for mid-December. "It will be a topic of discussion among 
members," Kjelland said. "There's certainly a high level of concern."

One company that sells biotech seed, Monsanto Co. of St. Louis, has been 
developing a genetically engineered variety of hard red spring wheat that 
is resistant to the company's Roundup weed killer. The seed has not yet 
been introduced. Farm Bureau delegates also adopted a policy over the 
weekend that says companies releasing biotech wheat for commercial 
production should be held liable for any harm caused to farmers. Some 
producers worry that genetically engineered wheat could contaminate fields 
of traditional or organic wheat through cross-pollination.

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Illinois farmers-Bio-corn growth could threaten EU sales
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   Nov 26, 2002

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Illinois farmers-Bio-corn growth could threaten EU sales

WASHINGTON - U.S. plantings of new biotech corn varieties not approved by 
the European Union should be avoided because it would threaten American 
shipments, including $400 million worth of corn gluten, an Illinois farm 
group declared yesterday. The Illinois Farm Bureau's board of directors, 
meeting in Bloomington, Ill., expressed "deep concern" that a likely 
increase in plantings next year of genetically modified corn not approved 
by the EU could threaten that market. The EU currently has a moratorium on 
approvals of all new biotech products, a position denounced by the United 
States. The American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of 
U.S. farmers, said Illinois is the only state farm bureau so far taking a 
position against planting biotech corn not approved by the EU. The AFBF, 
which generally supports biotech in agriculture, is pushing for the Bush 
administration to file a World Trade Organization complaint against the 
EU's moratorium on new biotech products.


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