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2-Plants: GE wheat: Monsanto vs. Canadian Wheat Board



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

TITLE:  MONSANTO RESTATES PLEDGE TO MEET ALL ROUNDUP READY WHEAT COMMITMENTS
SOURCE: Monsanto Canada, Press Release
        edited and sent by AGNET, Canada
DATE:   June 25, 2003

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


MONSANTO RESTATES PLEDGE TO MEET ALL ROUNDUP READY WHEAT COMMITMENTS

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--Monsanto Canada has informed the Canadian Wheat Board
that it plans to continue with its application for a food, feed and
environmental safety review of Roundup Ready(R) wheat. In its formal
written response to the Canadian Wheat Board, dated June 25, 2003,
Monsanto Canada president and general manager, Peter Turner said
regulatory review is a very important step to building consumer
confidence in the safety of biotech wheat in the food supply. He added
that it is responsible and appropriate for Monsanto Canada to ask
Canadian regulatory agencies - as well as regulatory agencies in other
countries around the world - to conduct a comprehensive safety assessment
of Roundup Ready wheat.

 "Successfully completing all stages of the regulatory review process
will send an important message to our customers around the world that
this product has been comprehensively reviewed and is deemed safe for
food, feed and environmental release," wrote Turner. "We owe this to our
customers." Monsanto also noted that regulatory approval is only the
first step of several commitments that must be met before it will
commercialize Roundup Ready spring wheat. Market acceptance, the
establishment of appropriate thresholds, segregation and agronomic
stewardship issues, in addition to regulatory approvals in Canada, the
U.S. and Japan, must also be adequately addressed before Monsanto will
offer commercial seed to farmers. "The research completed to date has
demonstrated there are benefits associated with Roundup Ready wheat,"
said Turner. "These benefits can only be realized if we meet all our
commitments. Our success is linked to the success of our farm customers.
This fact guides our development of new technologies and our approach to
bringing technologies forward for the benefit of farmers and the industry."

Turner also highlighted Canada's reputation as a world leader in
biotechnology research and innovation - a reputation that has been built
on a regulatory framework that is soundly grounded in science. Monsanto
strongly supports and respects this position and believes it is very
important that Canada continue to have a credible science-based
regulatory process to foster continued research and development for
biotechnology in wheat and other aspects of food and agriculture.

"The Canadian Wheat Board has raised other concerns we respect. We
believe we can best address these concerns by fulfilling our commitments
and we have been encouraged by many in the industry to continue making
progress down this path," said Turner. "We remain open to working with
the Canadian Wheat Board and others in the industry, including
government, to find manageable and effective solutions to allow the
benefits of biotechnology to continue to be shared with farmers, industry
and consumers."

Monsanto Company is a leading provider of technology-based solutions and
agricultural products that improve farm productivity.

A copy of the letter to the Canadian Wheat Board is attached.

*****

Mr. Adrian C. Measner President and Chief Executive Officer The Canadian
Wheat Board 423 Main Street PO Box 816, Stn. Main Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 2P5

Dear Mr. Measner:

Thank you for your letter of May 22, 2003 and your willingness to engage
in discussion with Monsanto Canada around the Roundup Ready(R) wheat
project. I have appreciated the opportunity to meet with you personally
and for the follow up phone conversations we have had. I hope that
positive working relationship will continue.

We have given much thought to understanding your request for Monsanto to
withdraw its application from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
for an environmental safety assessment of Roundup Ready wheat. We believe
that Canadian regulatory review for food, feed and environmental safety
is a very important step to building consumer confidence in the safety of
biotech wheat in the food supply. However, regulatory approval is only
the first step of several commitments that must be met before we
commercialize Roundup Ready spring wheat.

All the following commitments must be met before we will commercialize
Roundup Ready spring wheat:

One, the food, feed and environmental safety of Roundup Ready wheat is
demonstrated, resulting in regulatory approvals not only in Canada, but
also in the United States and Japan.

Two, appropriate regulatory trade approvals, thresholds or marketing
agreements are in place in major export markets. This allows wheat to be
traded based on buyer preferences and specifications.

Three, we will work with the Canadian grain handling industry to
establish an effective segregation system. This will include the
development and implementation of appropriate grain handling protocols
and standardized sampling and detection methods to meet agreed-to
international standards and thresholds. This system must maintain choice
for buyers who want, and those who do not want, Roundup Ready wheat.

Four, we will develop comprehensive, agronomic stewardship programs and
best management recommendations for this technology prior to commercial
introduction.

Five, buyers are identified who will procure and use wheat ingredients
with biotech traits. Consumer acceptance for the technology is
demonstrated by buyer and processor acceptance.

Canada remains a world leader in biotechnology research and innovation
because of a regulatory framework that is soundly grounded in science.
Monsanto strongly supports and respects this position. We believe it is
very important that Canada continue to have a credible science-based
regulatory process to foster continued research and development for
biotechnology in wheat and other aspects of food and agriculture.

As such, we believe it is responsible and appropriate for Monsanto to
bring forward a regulatory package for review and we plan to continue
with our application for a food, feed and environmental safety review of
Roundup Ready wheat.

The research we have completed to date has demonstrated there are
benefits associated with Roundup Ready wheat. These benefits can only be
realized if we meet all our commitments. Our success is linked to the
success of our farm customers. This fact guides our development of new
technologies and our approach to bringing technologies forward for the
benefit of farmers and the industry.

The Canadian Wheat Board has raised other concerns that we respect. We
believe we can best address these concerns by fulfilling our commitments
and we have been encouraged by many in the industry to continue our
progress down this path.

We remain open to working with the Canadian Wheat Board and others in the
industry, including government, to find manageable and effective
solutions to allow the benefits of biotechnology to continue to be shared
with farmers, industry and consumers in a way that adds value to the
western Canadian wheat industry.

Sincerely,

Peter Turner
President and General Manager
Monsanto Canada


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

TITLE:  U.S. fears Asia may not be ready for biotech wheat
SOURCE: Reuters, by Sambit Mohanty
        http://www.reuters.com/locales/
newsArticle.jsp?type=businessNews&locale=en_IN&storyID=2991989
DATE:   Jun 26, 2003

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


U.S. fears Asia may not be ready for biotech wheat

PHUKET, Thailand (Reuters) - Many Asian nations are not yet ready to
accept biotech wheat, U.S. industry officials warned on Thursday, and
said any move to push it aggressively could help Australia snatch some
key U.S. customers like Japan.

As Monsanto Co seeks regulatory approval for genetically modified (GM)
wheat in the United States and Canada at a time when a backlash against
GM foods is mounting in Europe, U.S. wheat trade officials said they
would have to work all the harder to ensure the same did not happen in Asia.

"Just because we forced other things like biotech corn and soybeans, we
are getting this backlash in Europe," said Kurt Haarmann, merchant at
Columbia Grain International Inc, a leading U.S. exporter, on the
sidelines of an Asia wheat conference.

"That, I think, has set our market back by five years, not forward. I
hope that biotech companies have learnt a lesson from that. We as
exporters were probably a little negligent in not policing that better
and not worrying more about what our customers thought about the products."

The United States is the world's leading producer of biotech crops, with
gene-spliced varieties accounting for 75 percent of U.S. soybeans, 71
percent of cotton and 34 percent of corn.

But most U.S. wheat trade officials attending the three-day conference in
Phuket said it was "extremely unlikely" that GM wheat could be
commercially planted for the first time in 2004. Some said it might not
be even possible in 2005.

"Customer acceptance is a serious issue in Asia," Alan Tracy, president
of the U.S. Wheat Associates, told Reuters. "Japan is really the key and
it's an area from where some of the greatest concerns have been expressed."

Japanese millers have said they will not import GM wheat. The United
States supplies about half of the six million tonnes of wheat a year
imported by Japan, with Canada and Australia supplying the rest.

AUSTRALIA EYEING MOVES

U.S. wheat trade officials added that Australia would be strongly eyeing
the Japanese market and a lot of discussion was needed with Japanese
authorities to keep the market intact.

"Australia would certainly be likely to use that to their marketing
advantage in the short term," Tracy added.

Australia exports 16 million tonnes of wheat in a normal year, with
Indonesia, Japan and Korea among its main markets.

But trade views were somewhat different about Southeast Asian nations,
including Indonesia that is emerging as one of the key buyers of U.S. wheat.

"The argument that one can get GM cargoes at 10 cents a bushel lower may
not impress Japan, but in the Philippines that might make an impression
as poverty is high," Haarmann said.

As debate intensifies about GM wheat, Southeast Asian importers said
governments were trying to formulate strict guidelines to regulate their
imports.

"You have to remember that wheat is different from corn. Corn is mainly
for feed. But for wheat, it's a question of human consumption. So, there
is obviously a food safety issue which has to be dealt differently," said
one Indonesian flour miller.




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