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Monsanto scraps modified wheat project
| Bowing to pressure from consumers, Japan, the European Union, and American food processoing companies, agribusiness giant Monsanto has withdrawn its efforts to sell genetically modified wheat products in Europe.
Monsanto's press release obscures the experimental nature of Roundup Ready
wheat [not to be confused with Roundup, the herbicide ~another Monsanto product
] and states clearly that other genticically modified crops (oops, make that crops with "new and improved traits
") such as corn, cotton and oilseeds shall continue, maybe even accelerate |
John Edward Peck, at University of Wisconson noted in Family Farm Defenders
, a Yahoo discussion group posting that:
"Monsanto's retreat is a huge victory for farmers and consumers in the U.S. and abroad," said Heather Whitehead, National Director of the True Food Network. "Monsanto projected having RoundUp Ready wheat on the market by 2002. But after several years of trying to push it down the throats of farmers, buyers and the food industry, they have finally realized this is an unwanted technology."
Monsanto's RoundUp Ready wheat was genetically engineered to withstand the use of its RoundUp herbicide, Monsanto's version of glyphosate, one of its best selling products. The possible commercialization of this wheat raised alarms around the world. Major export markets such as Japan not only said they would not purchase GE wheat, but that they would not purchase any U.S. wheat if GE varieties were commercialized due to fear of contamination. Food companies in North America, such as General Mills, George Weston Bakeries, King Arthur Flour and several others, expressed concerns about consumer acceptance. Some, like King Arthur Flour, even released company statements against its introduction, pledging not to use GE wheat in their products if it was indeed approved.