GENET archive


2-Plants: U.S. Wheat Associates set strict guidelines for GE wheat

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

TITLE:  FDA Says Monsanto Biotech Wheat Safe for Consumers
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   23 Jul 2004

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FDA Says Monsanto Biotech Wheat Safe for Consumers

July 23, 2004 -- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration has determined that genetically modified wheat made by
Monsanto Co. was safe for human and livestock consumption, an agency
spokesman said on Friday. FDA spokesman Mike Herndon said the agency had
completed its food safety assessment for Monsanto's biotech wheat
variety. "What we concluded was that all safety and regulatory issues had
been adequately addressed," he told Reuters. Last month, the company said
it would shelve plans to introduce the world's first GMO wheat. Monsanto
withdrew submissions for its biotech wheat from all regulatory agencies
except the FDA.

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

SOURCE: U.S. Wheat Associates, Wheat Letter
DATE:   15 Jul 2004 

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We will vigorously oppose commercialization of transgenic wheat traits
that do not meet all of the aforementioned principles.


The U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors joined two other national
wheat organizations this week in approving a set of principles for
commercializing genetically modified wheat. The organizations stipulated
that they will vigorously oppose commercialization of GM wheat unless the
product meets all of the principles.

In presenting the proposed set of principles to the USW Board of
Directors, the chair of the industry's joint biotech committee, Darrell
Hanavan, explained that commercialization of a GM wheat product is
anywhere from four to eight years away.

The principles state:

U.S. wheat producers recognize the benefits and value which could be
created within the wheat chain through the prudent application of modern
biotechnology. U.S. wheat producers will support commercialization of
transgenic wheat traits after thorough review and development of a
commercialization plan that facilitates commercialization with minimal
market disruption. We support the ability of our customers to make
purchases based on their preferences for specific traits, classes,
qualities, and characteristics. We will work diligently to assure that
commercially achievable customer preferences are met.

Our organizations will support commercialization of transgenic wheat
traits when:

1. The technology provider initiates an informative dialogue with the
USW/NAWG/WETEC Joint Biotechnology Committee (JBC) prior to submitting
for regulatory approvals in the U.S. This dialogue will allow our
organizations to initiate education and outreach activities to both
domestic and international customers, and to provide the technology
provider with practical information intended to facilitate
commercialization with minimal or no market disruption.

2. The primary responsibility for education and outreach for new traits
will remain with the technology provider. USW/NAWG/WETEC will help seek
buyer acceptance and will provide guidance, assistance and resources
where appropriate.

3. Regulatory approval for food, feed and environmental release must be
secured in the United States, and regulatory approvals for food and feed
use must be secured in major wheat export markets that will be affected.
Major export markets are defined as those which represent at least five
percent of the normal export volume of any of the separate market classes
of exported U.S. wheat. In countries where there is no viable regulatory
approval system, technology providers will make regulatory submissions
promptly when those systems become functional.

4. Buyers willing to accept the new transgenic wheat have been identified.

5. Commercialization of the trait must not impair the ability of non-
transgenic wheat to meet commercially recognized thresholds. Appropriate
international tolerances for transgenic wheat in non-transgenic shipments
must be established and accepted in major export markets. Anticipated
thresholds range from 0.9% to 5.0%.

6. An accurate, economical and timely trait detection test must be
provided by the trait developer prior to commercialization.

7. The technology provider must demonstrate stewardship of the
technology, including education and outreach to growers to assure
compliance with agronomic and grower stewardship practices specific to
the trait. Technology providers will also institute programs to provide
grower and industry education to ensure the integrity of the seed supply.

8. The trait should be priced at reasonably comparable levels in all
world production markets into which it is introduced. When appropriate,
the use of farmer-saved seed should be permitted. The trait should be
made available for discretionary adaptation into public wheat varieties.

9. Any technology provider wishing to commercialize a niche market
product only in the United States, without first securing major export
market regulatory or marketing approvals, must institute a strictly
controlled segregation and limited release program. The program must
prevent market disruption. The technology provider must agree to provide
for and bear the cost of an independent performance audit of the program.

We will vigorously oppose commercialization of transgenic wheat traits
that do not meet all of the aforementioned principles.



European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig

P: +49-531-5168746
F: +49-531-5168747
M: +49-162-1054755
E: coordination(*)
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