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Monsanto Drops Genetically Engineered Wheat

Monsanto Drops Genetically Engineered Wheat

Greenpeace Declares Victory for the Environment, Farmers and Consumers

Toronto, Canada, May 10, 2004- Greenpeace today declared victory for the environment with the announcement by Monsanto that they would suspend further development or open field trials of its genetically engineered, Roundup Ready wheat. Since 2001, a diverse body of groups, including the Canadian Wheat Board, has opposed the release of Roundup Ready wheat.

"This is a victory for the environment, farmers and consumers" said Pat Venditti, Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaigner. "Strong rejection of GE wheat from virtually every corner of the globe once again showed the resistance to GE foods."

Monsanto announced this morning that they will defer all further efforts to introduce Roundup Ready wheat, and that they will discontinue breeding and field level research of the crop. This follows a similar announcement from 2003 in which the company announced its withdrawal from development of pharmaceutical crops.

"Let's hope GE wheat permanently joins GE flax, GE tomatoes, and GE potatoes in the dustbin of bad ideas. Rather than having to restage this battle in four years time, we hope that Monsanto has heard loud and clear that genetically engineered wheat is a non-starter," continued Mr. Venditti. "The Canadian government should make a note of this and re-think it's devotion to this unnecessary technology."

According to the Canadian Wheat Board, eighty-seven percent of Canadian wheat buyers now require non-GE certification of wheat. In a survey of countries willing to accept GE wheat by the US Department of Agriculture, only four- Peru, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Yemen- said they would buy it.

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