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6-Regulation: Science, not market should decide on GE wheat approval



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

TITLE:  Let industry manage grain, biotech spokesman says
SOURCE: The Edmonton Journal, Canada, Allyson Jeffs
        http://www.canada.com/edmonton/edmontonjournal/info/business/
        story.html?id={F7F3D0D6-F40D-4A3D-84D8-4B90CC539DC4}
DATE:   Feb 21, 2003

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


Let industry manage grain, biotech spokesman says

EDMONTON - Market pressures shouldn't be a factor in determining whether
genetically engineered crops are approved for sale in Canada, says a
group representing the biotech industry.

With the debate over herbicide-tolerant wheat heating up, CropLife Canada
says the approval process shouldn't become mired in concerns about
whether new biotech crops are palatable for the export market.

"Science is a very solid foundation on which the regulatory system needs
to be based," said Denise Dewar, CropLife's executive director of plant
biotechnology.

"The concerns with respect to market access are very real, but they
should be managed by the industry."

The regulatory system used by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and
Health Canada, should stay focused on science-based issues of whether the
product is safe for humans and the environment, Dewar said Thursday in an
interview.

CropLife is the trade association representing manufacturers, developers
and distributors of plant science innovation used in agricultural, urban
and public health settings.

Monsanto Canada has asked the federal government for permission to
release genetically modified wheat into the farm marketplace.

If approval is given, farmers would be allowed to seed a crop that has
been engineered to tolerate high doses of the company's herbicide Roundup.

Farm groups are concerned that genetically altered wheat can't be
sufficiently separated from its conventional cousin. And further, they
worry the move could sour prospects for exporting Canadian wheat to
markets where genetically engineered wheat is not acceptable.

The Canadian Wheat Board and other grain industry groups say market
acceptance of genetically modified wheat is a key issue in the debate.

An industry working group has suggested that markets for the entire
production of genetically modified wheat over a number of years must be
identified before its introduced.

In addition, the group is calling for assurances that market requirements
for conventional wheat will be met.

Dewar said discussions are underway to develop a stewardship program for
managing herbicide-tolerant crops already in use (canola, corn and
soybeans) that will encompass herbicide-tolerant wheat once it's
approved. One of the goals is to minimize the herbicide-tolerant traits
which can find their way into conventional crops.

CropLife wants to ensure the products "come to the marketplace in a way
that Canadian growers would have the advantage of using the product but
not detrimentally impact their export markets where the product may not
yet be approved," she said.

The Council of Canadians is spearheading a campaign against approval of
genetically modified wheat which kicks off Feb. 26 in Winnipeg, Man.

It involves a series of public forums across the prairies, including one
in Edmonton March 11.


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

TITLE:  FARMER ACTION TO OPPOSE GM WHEAT
SOURCE: National Farmers Union, Canada, Media Notice
        edited and sent by Agnet, Canada
DATE:   Feb 20, 2003

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FARMER ACTION TO OPPOSE GM WHEAT

SASKATOON, Sask.-The international customers that buy 82% of Canada's
wheat crop have said that they will stop buying if Canada introduces
genetically-modified (GM) wheat. Monsanto is pushing ahead with
regulatory approval for GM wheat in Canada. The vast majority of farmers
do not want Monsanto to introduce GM wheat. The National Farmers Union
will hold a news conference to detail a strategy that farmers can utilize
to help stop the introduction of Monsanto's GM wheat.

That news conference will take place:
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24
1:30 PM
NATIONAL FARMERS UNION OFFICE
BOARDROOM 2717
WENTZ AVE. (JUST SOUTH OF 51ST STREET) SASKATOON, SASK.

NFU officials will outline farmers' objections to GM wheat and unveil a
strategy for averting its introduction. Later this month, the NFU and
other organizations will hold 11 town-hall meetings across western Canada
to engage farmers and others in a campaign to stop GM wheat.