Genetically Modified Wheat
Monsanto, the agricultural biotechnology company, genetically modified a variety of hard red spring wheat to resist the company's Roundup herbicide.
The environment and economy of the Northern Great Plains are threatened by the potential introduction of this genetically modified (GM) wheat. Questions about market acceptance, farmer liability, segregation, and risks to the environment and human health remain unanswered.
We are working to prevent the commercial introduction of GM wheat until these questions are answered.
In May 2004, Monsanto announced that it was shelving research and development on genetically modified (GM) wheat. The announcement followed five years of opposition by wheat farmers, consumers, and food safety activists to the commercial introduction of Roundup Ready wheat.
Market resistance to GM wheat
A 2003 report by Dr. Robert Wisner - a leading grain market economist at Iowa State University - shows the commercial introduction of genetically modified wheat in the next several years could cause major risk to the U.S. wheat industry.
After examining data on existing markets, consumer trends, and grain handling and transportation systems, Dr. Wisner concluded that the commercial introduction of genetically modified wheat could result in the loss of 30% to 50% of U.S. spring wheat export markets, and a reduction of up to one-third in U.S. prices for hard red spring and durum wheat.
On August 23, 2006, WORC released a second update to the Market Risks report. The update found that consumer attitudes towards GM crops are unchanged. The update also responds to claims made by some U.S. wheat growers that GM wheat would reverse declining wheat acres.
* Read WORC's news release for Dr. Wisner's response.
WORC issued a third update of the report by Dr. Neal Blue, a grain market consultant and former research economist at Ohio State Universityon January 27, 2010. A Review of the Potential Market Impacts of Commercializing GM Wheat in the U.S. concludes that wheat buyers in Europe, Japan, and other Asian countries are likely to switch to GM-free
wheat from other countries if GM wheat is introduced in this country. As a result, the price of U.S. hard red spring wheat would fall 40%, and the price of durum wheat would drop 57%.
* Read news release of Dr. Blue's report.
providing background information for the
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
Hartmut MEYER (Mr)