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Biotech wheat developments in Canada, USA

(Thursday, March 13, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Lyle Vanclief, Canada's ag. minister, said that market acceptance issues will be taken into account in the approval process for Monsanto's genetically engineered wheat.

Key foreign markets have warned that they won't accept the wheat Monsanto engineered to resist glyphosate, which it sell sunder the trade name Roundup.

He told the Edmonton Journal: "I'm not about to see our wheat market spoiled. The exact process (for reviewing market factors) has not yet been determined but the recognition is clearly there that that concern has to be addressed."

However, Vanclief cautioned that using market impacts to deny commercialization of Roundup Ready wheat could backfire in international trade negotiations.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Iowa State University economist Robert Wisner warned in his new report, available at http://www.worc.org, that the U.S. wheat industry runs the risk of losing 30 to 50 percent of its business with foreign markets for hard red spring wheat if Monsanto is allowed to commercialize Roundup Ready wheat.

Sources: Edmonton Journal, Reuters