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2-Plants: Canadian study shows environmental risks of GE wheat

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TITLE:  Canadian scientists find Roundup Ready(R) wheat poses
        environmental risk
SOURCE: Canadian Wheat Board, News Release
DATE:   Jul 9, 2003

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Canadian scientists find Roundup Ready(R) wheat poses environmental risk

Winnipeg - Three leading plant scientists from the University of Manitoba
have concluded that the unconfined release of Monsanto's Roundup Ready
wheat in Western Canada poses an unacceptable level of environmental risk.

"The unconfined release of Roundup Ready wheat will negatively affect the
environment and limit farmers' ability to conserve natural resources on
farms in Western Canada," note Dr. Rene Van Acker, Dr. Anita Brűlé-Babel
and Lyle Friesen in their report. "Under current conditions the release
of Roundup Ready wheat in Western Canada would be environmentally
unsafe." All three researchers are with the Department of Plant Science
in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the U of M and were
asked by the CWB to independently assess the impact of unconfined release.

The CWB wants to prevent the premature unconfined release of Monsanto's
genetically modified (GM) wheat variety, which is currently being
assessed by the federal government for food, feed and environmental safety.

The results of the study have been submitted to the Plant Biosafety
Office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the federal agency
responsible for assessing Roundup Ready wheat's environmental safety.

"The study shows that this product, if granted unconfined release, will
cause environmental problems for all farmers, not just those who choose
to grow it," said Ken Ritter, chairman of the CWB's farmer-controlled
board of directors. "We urge the federal government to consider this
scientific evidence in their assessment process."

"The unconfined release of this product will threaten the sustainability
of reduced tillage cropping systems in western Canada and as such it will
pose a risk to the environment and natural resource conservation on
managed ecosystems (farms) in Western Canada," the study also notes. The
complete study is available on the CWB Web site,

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 the costs of marketing, to Prairie farmers.

For more information, please contact: Louise Waldman Manager, Media
Relations Winnipeg, MB tel: (204) 983-3101 cell: (204) 299-8398 Dr. Rene
Van Acker Department of Plant Science University of Manitoba tel: (204)


please download the report at:


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