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TITLE:  CWB asks Monsanto to put the brakes on roundup ready wheat
SOURCE: Canadian Wheat Board, Press Release
        http://www.cwb.ca/en/news/releases/2003/052703.jsp
DATE:   May 27, 2003

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


CWB asks Monsanto to put the brakes on roundup ready wheat

Winnipeg - The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) has called on Monsanto Canada
to withdraw its application for an environmental safety assessment of
Roundup ReadyŽ wheat (RRW). Monsanto's RRW application is currently
before the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

In a May 22 letter to Monsanto Canada's President, Peter Turner, the CWB,
a farmer-controlled grain marketing agency, detailed the devastating
economic impact the introduction of RRW will have on western Canadian
farmers. "Economic harm could include lost access to premium markets,
penalties caused by rejected shipments, and increased farm management and
grain handling costs," the letter states. The letter is signed by Ken
Ritter, chairman of the farmer-controlled board of directors, and Adrian
Measner, President and CEO.

"Monsanto has said in the past it would not introduce RRW unless it was
beneficial to farmers," Ritter said. "Well, there are no benefits. So
we're asking Monsanto to put the interests of their customers, western
Canadian farmers, ahead of their own commercial interests and put the
brakes on RRW, before Prairie farmers suffer serious financial consequences."

"Customers in over 80 per cent of our markets have expressed serious
reservations about genetically modified wheat," Measner said. "For us,
the customer is always right. We cannot jeopardize our ability to
maximize returns to western Canadian farmers through the introduction of
a product our customers do not want."

The CWB has asked Monsanto to confirm its compliance with the CWB's
request by June 27, 2003.

The CWB has already called on the federal government to close the
regulatory gap on genetically modified wheat by adding a cost benefit
analysis to the food, feed and environmental assessments currently being
undertaken on RRW.

However, the CWB is taking this additional step because RRW could be
approved before the introduction of any regulatory changes. "Under the
current system, RRW could be approved for unconfined release as early as
2004," Ritter said. "We had to move quickly, so we are appealing to
Monsanto directly."

A copy of the letter to Monsanto Canada is attached.

Controlled by western Canadian farmers, the CWB is the largest wheat and
barley marketer in the world. As one of Canada's biggest exporters, the
Winnipeg-based organization sells grain to more than 70 countries and
returns all sales revenue, less marketing costs, to Prairie farmers.

For more information, please contact:
Louise Waldman
Manager, Media Relations & Advertising
Tel: (+1-204) 983-3101
Cell: (+1-204) 299-8398
E-mail: louise_waldman@cwb.ca

Mr. Peter Turner
President
Monsanto Canada Inc
67 Scurfield Boulevard
Winnipeg MB R3Y 1G4
Fax No.: (+1-204) 488-9599

Dear Mr. Turner:

As you know, the potential release of Roundup Ready(R) wheat (RRW)
remains the cause of considerable concern for wheat customers, farmers
and others. The farmer-controlled Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) is extremely
concerned that the unconfined release of RRW in Canada will result in
significant and predictable economic harm to western Canadian farmers.
This harm will occur to those who adopt the technology and those who do
not, as well as to others in the Canadian wheat value chain.

Economic harm could include lost access to premium markets, penalties
caused by rejected shipments, and increased farm management and grain
handling costs. Unfortunately, scientific data demonstrating the food
safety of RRW will not, by itself, prevent this harm. Furthermore, the
CWB is not satisfied that Monsanto's stated commitments regarding
commercialization of RRW will adequately protect the interests of western
Canadian farmers and Canada's wheat customers from this economic harm.

The CWB hereby requests Monsanto withdraw its application to the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for environmental safety assessment of RRW.

It is of the utmost importance that your decision on this request be made
as soon as possible in order to protect the interests of the wheat value
chain and to prevent the damages that may result from the unconfined
release of RRW. We ask that you confirm by June 27, 2003 your withdrawal
from the application process.

Yours truly,

Original signed by

Ken Ritter Chair, CWB Board of Directors

Original signed by

Adrian C. Measner President and Chief Executive Officer

KR/ag

066-03CH

c: Hugh Grant, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer,
Monsanto Company




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