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Biotechnology won't fix declining wheat markets
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: September 28, 2006 10:00AM ; ;

A new report by Robert Wisner of Iowa State University in the U.S. finds
that introducing genetically modified (GM) wheat in the U.S. would "still"
risk the loss of one-fourth to one-half of the country's export trade in
hard red spring wheat and durum wheat, and would reduce prices by up to
one-third, September 2006.

The report is the latest update on Wisner's study, "Market Risks of
Genetically Modified Wheat," which was released in 2003 by the Western
Organization of Research Councils (WORC) and the Dakota Resource Council.

According to the report, "We have not seen evidence, either from WTO [World
Trade Organization] policies or other developments, that consumers in major
foreign markets are significantly changing their views toward GM Round-Up
Ready wheat from those of two years ago," when Monsanto "shelved" plans to
introduce the variety.

The report finds that introducing fusarium-resistant GM wheat, which is
still under development by Syngenta, would present similar problems. Demand
for the variety has actually dissipated following the introduction of non-GM
varieties with fusarium resistance.

Further, Wisner's report finds that introducing GM wheat would not reverse
the current downward trend in U.S. wheat acres planted, as some have

The report says this trend can be attributed to U.S. agricultural policy and
increased production of corn and soy for biofuel production, not to
competition from GM varieties of corn and soy. [GM wheat is not now grown
commercially anywhere in the world.]

The press release and a link to Wisner's report are available online at:

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