E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


Grain exchange directors approve specifying non-GMO wheat

(Friday, May 9, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is a news release from the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Contact: Teri Huffaker; 612-321-7140

MINNEAPOLIS—May 9, 2003—Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) directors yesterday approved a rule to allow takers of spring wheat futures deliveries the choice of specifying non-genetically modified wheat in fulfillment of delivery obligations. Pending MGEX ownership approval, Rule 803.02 and accompanying Resolution 803.02 will be effective with the July 2004 hard red spring wheat futures contract and all subsequently listed trading months. MGEX ownership ballots will be counted on May 27.

"Although genetically modified, or transgenic, wheat varieties are not currently on the market, we believe we must take a proactive stance on this issue," said Kent Horsager, MGEX president and chief executive officer. "This rule is not intended to eliminate deliveries of genetically modified spring wheat. It just gives the taker of delivery the right to choose," Horsager added.

"MGEX directors decided to address the potential for delivery of genetically modified wheat before it became a factor in our cash markets," said Ray Lottie, chairman of the MGEX board of directors and manager of cereal and eastern grain operations for General Mills. "This is a highly political and emotional issue for the wheat industry and we did not want to wait for a dispute to arise before acting. We have an obligation to preserve the orderly nature of our Spring Wheat Futures delivery process. This rule will allow takers of delivery to make their own judgments on the market acceptance of genetically modified wheat. Market acceptance is key to genetically modified wheat reaching its full potential for improving the lives of people around the world," he added.

Rule 803.02 reads, "If specifically requested in writing by the taker of delivery at the time load-out instructions are submitted, elevators regular for delivery of Hard Red Spring Wheat shall provide a certificate stating the wheat delivered meets the standards established by the Board of Directors by Resolution for non-genetically modified wheat."

Resolution 803.02 establishes the criteria for issuance of a certificate as well as the obligations of the taker and delivery elevator. A delivery elevator can meet the certificate requirement by providing a letterhead statement issued by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Association (GIPSA) stating, "There are no transgenic wheat varieties for sale or in commercial production in the United States at this time." In the absence of this certificate, the delivery elevator, at their own expense, must have the delivery wheat tested for transgenic events. A certificate cannot be issued if the amount of genetically modified wheat exceeds more than one percent (1%) of the delivery quantity. If a certificate cannot be issued, the elevator must reload unless the taker of the delivery and the elevator agree to other arrangements.

MGEX, established in 1881, is the only market for hard red spring wheat, National Corn Index (NCI), National Soybean Index (NSI) and Hard Winter Wheat Index (HWI) futures and options. For more information about MGEX, visit htttp://www.mgex.com