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7-Business: Minneapolis Grain Exchange approved GE-free wheatspecification



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

TITLE:  MGEX passes biotech wheat rule, KCBT mulls one too
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   May 29, 2003

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MGEX passes biotech wheat rule, KCBT mulls one too

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With the world's first biotech wheat making its way
through the regulatory approval process, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange
this week approved a rule that allow companies to avoid biotech wheat
deliveries.

With a vote of 126 to 53, MGE members approved a provision that allows
those companies accepting deliveries of spring wheat to fulfill futures
contract obligations the choice of specifying non-biotech wheat.

The resolution becomes effective with the July 2004 hard red spring wheat
futures contract and all subsequently listed trading months.

Genetically modified wheat currently is not available in the marketplace,
but Monsanto Co (MON.N) is seeking approvals in Canada in Japan and plans
to first commercialize its herbicide-resistant wheat in spring wheat
varieties.

MGEX officials described the new rule as a proactive measure aimed at
preserving order and heading off disputes that could arise in the future
as biotech wheat comes to market.

With a nod to the MGEX, members of the Kansas City Board of Trade were
also taking up the issue. The exchange's wheat contract committee will be
discussing if a similar rule is needed in Kansas City, said KCBT
president Bob Petersen.

"That will be an issue here. We're just now starting to wrestle with it,"
Petersen said.

"What we're presuming is that Monsanto will get approval sometime in the
next 12 months," said Petersen.

Monsanto has not said when or if it would commercialize a hard red
biotech variety after it launches its Roundup Ready spring wheat, but the
exchange wants to be prepared, said Petersen.

"Minneapolis is kind of on the front lines of that so we'll watch and see
how they handle that issue," he said.


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

TITLE:  Monsanto undeterred as biotech wheat debate persists
SOURCE: Reuters, by Carey Gillam, additional reporting by Randy Fabi
DATE:   May 29, 2003

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Monsanto undeterred as biotech wheat debate persists

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Monsanto Co. (MON.N) said it will continue to seek
regulatory approvals for the world's first genetically modified wheat
despite allegations that the controversial product could devastate
Canadian wheat exports.

Monsanto believes its bid to win deregulation of its Roundup Ready wheat
in Canada and the United States has "tremendous support," said Monsanto
spokesman Michael Doane.

The regulatory review process should answer questions and concerns about
the product's safety and efficacy, Doane said.

"People want to know it is safe. We're going to stay on course and
continue to look for those regulatory approvals," Doane said.

Doane's comments followed Tuesday's plea by the Canadian Wheat Board for
Monsanto to withdraw its application to test herbicide resistant wheat in
Canada. The CWB is one of Canada's largest exporters and is controlled by
western Canadian farmers.

The CWB said the "Roundup Ready" wheat would have a "devastating economic
impact" on Canadian farmers because foreign buyers opposed to genetically
altered foods would shun Canadian supplies.

The CWB's concerns echoed similar fears in the United States, most
recently underscored in March when a consortium of U.S. agricultural and
environmental groups filed a legal petition seeking a federal moratorium
on Monsanto's Roundup Ready wheat. But the regulatory review is still
under way.

Some think Monsanto might have regulatory approval in time to market its
biotech wheat in 2004. But customer acceptance remains a significant hurdle.

That was underscored earlier this month when the Korea Flour Mills
Industrial Association (KOFMIA), a major U.S. wheat customer, said it
would boycott American supplies if U.S. regulators approve biotech wheat
varieties.

North American Millers' Association vice president Jim Bair said Tuesday
that concerns are so high about market disruption that Monsanto should
slow down the regulatory approval process to focus on customer acceptance.

"In this case the market acceptance is clearly lagging behind regulatory
approval. We think those two things need to happen in tandem," said Bair.
"Trying to force it onto the market .. is merely a recipe for chaos."

Other U.S. wheat industry leaders said that Monsanto should continue to
pursue regulatory approvals so it could release the wheat variety in
Canada and the United States simultaneously, preventing either country
from gaining an advantage in the wheat export market.

"Monsanto has assured us that they will do this as a joint effort," said
North Dakota Grain Growers executive director Lance Hagan. "It would be
economic suicide for them to go back on that."

U.S. Wheat Associates, which markets U.S. wheat to foreign countries,
also said customer acceptance remained an obstacle to a successful launch
of Monsanto's wheat.

"U.S. Wheat continues to strongly urge Monsanto and other technology
providers to ensure customer acceptance prior to commercialization," said
U.S. Wheat spokeswoman Dawn Forsythe.




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