GENET archive

[Index][Thread]

BUSINESS & FOOD: No market for genetically modified wheat, Canadian Wheat Board says



                                  PART 1


------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   NO MARKET FOR GENETICALLY MODIFIED WHEAT, CWB SAYS

SOURCE:  Canoe, Canada

AUTHOR:  Stefania Moretti

URL:     http://money.canoe.ca/money/business/canada/archives/2011/09/20110919-163352.html

DATE:    19.09.2011

SUMMARY: "Canadians needn?t worry about genetically modified bread winding up on their kitchen table any time soon despite the global push to start experimenting with genetically altered wheat to feed the world?s growing population. Canadian wheat farmers aren?t pushing for GM wheat because there simple is no market for it [...[ GM wheat isn?t being grown anywhere in North America - though Canada did sign on to the G20?s International Research Initiative for Wheat Improvement (IRIWI) just last week along with France, Britain and eight others."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


NO MARKET FOR GENETICALLY MODIFIED WHEAT, CWB SAYS

Canadians needn?t worry about genetically modified bread winding up on their kitchen table any time soon despite the global push to start experimenting with genetically altered wheat to feed the world?s growing population.

Canadian wheat farmers aren?t pushing for GM wheat because there simple is no market for it, the marketing group in charge of one Canada?s top exports said just days after the British government approved trials on GM wheat starting next year.

>From a competitive standpoint, the Canadian Wheat Board isn?t too concerned about the U.K.?s decision to test pest-resistant wheat either, said Maureen Fitzhenry, a spokesperson for the CWB.

That?s because the competitive advantage comes from selling what buyers want, she said. And in today?s market, that?s non-genetically modified wheat.

?In the current climate there?s an argument to be made that the people who aren?t testing genetically modified wheat may be further ahead in the game,? Fitzhenry said.

GM wheat isn?t being grown anywhere in North America - though Canada did sign on to the G20?s International Research Initiative for Wheat Improvement (IRIWI) just last week along with France, Britain and eight others.

?We know that by 2050 we will need to raise wheat output by 70% to meet people?s needs. So there is an urgency to improve genetic progress,? said Nicolas Trift, scientific advisor to French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Despite increasing global food supply concerns some of the world?s top consumers, including Japan and the European union, still have very strong objections to GM products - especially food staples - Fitzhenry said.

?There are some customers who don?t even want one kernel of GM grain in a boatload which may be an unrealistic expectation as we move forward into an era where there are more GM products maybe not of wheat but of other types of grain that are travelling in the same ships,? Fitzhenry said.

?We do recognize that GM wheat may have the potential to offer benefits to farmers and to buyers who are looking for food security as the number of people in the world continues to grow,? she said, adding that crop seed companies, at least so far, have not been able to convince producers of that.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INTO BIOTECH WHEAT

SOURCE:  CropLife International, Belgium

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.croplife.org/biotech_wheat

DATE:    01.09.2011

SUMMARY: "The G20 Agriculture Ministers agree that it is necessary to develop new wheat varieties as it is a major crop for food security. In June 2011 they agreed to form the International Research Initiative on Wheat which will bring together global experts in wheat to develop a common vision and agenda to improve the productivity of wheat. Although it can take more than 13 years to develop and commercialize a new biotech-derived crop, wheat growers are supportive of research with plant biotechnology. A 2009 survey of U.S. wheat growers showed that more than 75 percent supported the commercialization of biotech wheat."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INTO BIOTECH WHEAT

Plant biotechnology offers significant and tangible benefits to farmers, consumers, and the environment. Today, more than 15.4 million farmers are growing biotech crops on 148 million hectares in 29 countries.

Today, about 20% of the food calories consumed by the world?s people is derived from wheat. Because wheat is a staple food for so much of the world?s population, many public and private sector research organizations are working to develop biotech wheat varieties that can better withstand pest, disease, and climate pressures, and more efficiently use natural resources, all while increasing crop productivity. To this end, in 2009, wheat growers in the three major wheat exporting countries of Australia, Canada, and the United States agreed to a ?GM Wheat Trilateral Statement,? which supports research and development into biotech wheat.

The G20 Agriculture Ministers agree that it is necessary to develop new wheat varieties as it is a major crop for food security. In June 2011 they agreed to form the International Research Initiative on Wheat (IRIW) which will bring together global experts in wheat to develop a common vision and agenda to improve the productivity of wheat.

Although it can take more than 13 years to develop and commercialize a new biotech-derived crop, wheat growers are supportive of research with plant biotechnology. A 2009 survey of U.S. wheat growers showed that more than 75 percent supported the commercialization of biotech wheat. American consumers have also voiced their support for biotech wheat and its ability to reduce agriculture?s environmental footprint ? a 2010 International Food Information Council (IFIC) survey found that 80% of respondents would eat grain foods made with biotech wheat.

It is believed that biotech wheat varieties will offer many of the same economic and environmental benefits that other biotech crops have offered farmers worldwide for nearly 15 years. Innovative plant science technologies, including biotech crops, already play a critical role in helping growers farm more sustainably.

Adoption of No-Till Farming. Perhaps the most profound and far reaching environmental impact of biotech crops has been the rapid increase in no-till agriculture ? a farming practice that avoids plowing the soil for weed control in order to better conserve topsoil and moisture while reducing erosion. No-till farming is made possible through the use of herbicide-tolerant biotech crops and herbicides. Eliminating plowing results in significant benefits in soil health, biodiversity , and improved water retention in the soil.

Improved Pest Management. In many parts of the world, farmers lose up to 90% of a crop harvest because of pest infestations. Biotechnology enables pest control measures that are more precisely targeted at specific pests, while dramatically reducing impacts on non-target species. Since their introduction, biotech crops have reduced pesticide applications by nearly seven percent.

Increased Productivity Helps to Protect Threatened Ecosystems. As agricultural demands increase, ecosystems such as rainforests are increasingly threatened to be converted to farmland. Biotech crops increase yields on existing farmlands, which decreases the pressure from increased demand to convert more natural habitat to agriculture. Studies show that if biotech crops had not been available in 2008, achieving 2008 production levels would have required additional planting of 4.6 million hectares of soybeans, 3.5 million hectares of corn, 2.2 million hectares of cotton, and 0.3 million hectares of canola. This total area is equivalent to about 21 percent of the arable land in Brazil. In the future, biotech crops will be grown more sustainably by utilizing nitrogen more efficiently, and by further increasing crop yields so more natural habitat and forests can remain untouched.

Adapting to Climate Change and Extreme Growing Climates. Today?s biotech crops are able to maintain and increase crop yields despite pest, weed, and virus pressures. In the future, biotech crops will provide more tolerance to drought conditions, will be able to grow in soils with higher salt content, and tolerate more extreme temperatures brought on by climate change. The adoption of no-till agriculture reduces the use of agricultural machinery in fields, which leads to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from farm equipment. Studies show that biotech crops have saved farmers 441 million gallons of fuel through reduced mechanical operations ? which has enabled 14 billion kilograms fewer carbon dioxide emissions ? equivalent to removing seven million cars from the road. As our world is increasingly transformed by climate change, innovative plant sciences will play a role in preserving carbon sinks and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The plant biotechnology industry takes all health concerns regarding biotech food and feed very seriously and is committed to the highest standards of testing and safety for its products. Biotech crops are rigorously tested for safety prior to commercialization ? in fact, biotech crops are among the most extensively tested foods in the history of food safety. What?s more, there is a long history of numerous studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and substantial experiences with humans and animals around the world consuming biotech foods for years without a single documented health problem.

Likewise, the plant science industry takes all environmental concerns regarding biotech crops very seriously. Both greenhouse and confined field trials are essential to the risk assessment process before biotech-derived products are commercialized. The research and development process takes into account natural agricultural and biological occurrences such as gene flow. CropLife International and its members strongly believe that current risk assessment principles are appropriate in determining any environmental impact a biotech-derived product may have.

The plant science industry is committed to providing safe, effective, and robust tools to growers to manage pests and diseases by using innovative technology to protect crop yields, human health, and the environment. Worldwide, the public and private sector must collaborate to develop innovative solutions for agriculture, including wheat. These partnerships contribute to food security, sustainability, and consumer, plant, and animal health. Many international organizations, including the G20 Agriculture Ministers, have committed to creating an enabling environment to encourage and increase public-private investment in agriculture.

The private sector has been an essential partner in advancing agriculture and enabling access to science and technology. Partnerships leverage and join the best practices, expertise, and knowledge available from both public and private sectors. Continued investments in agricultural science and technology, and innovation are essential to identifying solutions to agricultural challenges of the 21st century.

The deployment and further development of plant science technologies offer real solutions in addressing food security and climate change through sustainable agricultural practices. CropLife International and its members are committed to making available the best technologies to help achieve sufficient, safe and healthy food production, improved livelihoods and the preservation of non-renewable resources. The use of plant biotechnology can increase the productivity of land already cultivated, reduce the need to farm additional land, and thus contribute to conservation of biodiversity and preservation of natural resources.

For more resources on the recent Australian biotech wheat news visit:

GM Wheat: The Story of Our Daily Bread, TechNyou

http://technyou.edu.au/2011/07/gm-wheat-the-story-of-our-daily-bread/

The Drum, Australian Broadcast Corporation

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2785818.html

GM Wheat -- Grain Industry Facts, Agrifood Awareness Australia

http://www.afaa.com.au/media/MR_GM_Wheat_Grain_industry_facts_6_July_2011.pdf

GM Crop Destruction Unacceptable, Australian Academy of Science

http://www.science.org.au/news/media/14july11.html

Scientists appalled by whippersnipper attack on CSIRO GM wheat trial, The Conversation

http://theconversation.edu.au/scientists-appalled-by-whippersnipper-attack-on-csiro-gm-wheat-trial-2334

Farmers Condemn Greenpeace Assault, The Farm Trader

http://www.thefarmtrader.com.au/articles/farmers-condemn-greenpeace-assault

For more information on biotech wheat visit:

Biotech Wheat Resources, GMO Safety, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany

http://www.gmo-safety.eu/topic/268

GM Wheat -- Fact not Fiction, Agrifood Awareness Australia

http://www.afaa.com.au/GM_wheat_2010/AFAA_GMWheatBrochure_WEB.pdf

Wheat Biotechnology Commercialization, Statement of Canadian, American and Australian Wheat Organizations

http://www.afaa.com.au/news/news_pdf_057_FINAL_Trilateral_Biotech_Statement.pdf

A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research, EuropaBio

http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/pdf/a_decade_of_eu-funded_gmo_research.pdf