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[SANET-MG] Monsanto GM wheat
It is perplexing , what happened to the millions contributed to the
Monsanto GM wheat project by the taxpayers of Canada? Clandestine
testing of the GM wheat was carried out even after Monsanto announced
that they were no longer testing GM wheat. It may be that Canada will
promote and develop the GM wheat so long as they can market it without
The vistive soybeans described in the article were deregulated without
testing the gene combinations used to produce it (see Vistive soybeans
Monsanto: Biotech wheat revival unlikely
Wed Mar 16, 2005 Reuters
By K.T. Arasu
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Biotech crop pioneer Monsanto Co. said on Wednesday
it was unlikely any time soon to resurrect its project to develop
genetically modified wheat, which it suspended last May.
The company instead would plow its resources into a conventionally bred
variety of soybeans that will produce a cooking oil with a lower level
of cholesterol-producing trans fatty acids.
"We saw what's going on with food and trans fats, and we saw that
resource we are putting in wheat is not nearly as valuable as putting it
into the food and oil side," Monsanto Executive Vice President Jerry
Steiner told the Reuters Food Summit in Chicago.
Steiner said the soybeans will have low linolenic acid, reducing the
need for partial hydrogenation of soybean oil. Hydrogenation is a
chemical process that gives products a longer shelf life but creates
Medical experts believe trans fats are more harmful to the heart than
other forms of fat that have been linked to heart disease, such as
Steiner said the soybeans would be grown on about 100,000 acres this
spring in Iowa, adding that the crop could be planted on 5 million acres
over the next four to five years -- about 7 percent of total U.S.
The shifting of Monsanto's funds to the new variety of soybeans comes
after the company shelved its project to develop a transgenic wheat amid
a global outcry from consumers alarmed at the prospect of genetic
engineering of a key food crop.
"Would we bring it back next year? It's highly unlikely," Steiner said
of the genetically modified wheat.
Monsanto, based in St. Louis, Missouri, has successfully commercialized
genetically modified corn and soybeans, which are widely grown in the
Monsanto had been field-testing Roundup Ready wheat, which was
genetically modified to tolerate applications of the company's Roundup
herbicide, for six years and spent millions of dollars on the project.
Steiner said the company decided that pushing ahead with the project
would have divided the wheat industry.
"The product has to make sense economically and we have to make best use
of our resources," he added.
Even wheat industry leaders, who said biotechnology could lead to
improved profitability for struggling wheat growers, warned that Roundup
Ready wheat could devastate exports of all U.S. and Canadian wheat, as
buyers in many countries refuse to accept genetically modified crops.
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