Genetically Modified Wheat Rejected
by 233 Consumer, Farmer Groups in 26 Countries
233 consumer and farmer groups in 26 countries have joined the "Definitive
Global Rejection of GM Wheat" statement to stop the commercialization
of genetically modified (GM) wheat and remind the biotechnology
corporation Monsanto that genetically modifying this major crop
is not acceptable to farmers or consumers. (1)
The 233 groups signed the rejection statement first launched
by 15 Australian, Canadian and U.S. farmer and consumer groups
in June 2009.
"Canadian farmers have just lost their export sales to Europe
and other markets because of GM flax contamination from a GM variety
deregistered a decade ago and never even sold. Our current experience
with GM flax contamination clearly illustrates the crippling losses
Canadian farmers will suffer if GM wheat is introduced,"
said Terry Boehm, a flax and wheat farmer and President of the
National Farmers Union in Canada. "Flax is yet another warning
that once a GM crop is introduced, contamination is inevitable."
In July 2009, Monsanto announced new research into GM wheat and
industry groups kicked their promotion of GM wheat into high gear.
"Widespread farmer and consumer resistance defeated GM wheat
in 2004 and this global rejection remains strong, as demonstrated
by today's statement," said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of
the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.
"In 2004, a coalition of Japanese consumer and food industry
groups delivered a petition to the Governments of Canada and the
U.S. urging them not to introduce GM wheat. Today, consumer rejection
of GM wheat in Japan is just as strong as ever. 80 organizations
in Japan have already signed the rejection statement," said
Keisuke Amagasa of the Tokyo-based No! GMO Campaign. "A large
majority of consumers here in Japan are voicing their strong opposition
to the cultivation of GM wheat. We see strong opposition from
all sectors of society."
Japan's flour companies are also rejecting GM wheat, echoing
consumer opposition. In a statement released today, the Flour
Miller's Association of Japan wrote to the No! GMO Campaign indicating
"Under the present circumstances, with all the doubts about
safety and the environment that the consumers in Japan have, including
the effect on the human body from GM foods, GM wheat is included
among the items that are not acceptable for the Japanese market,"
Kadota Masaaki, senior managing director of the Flour Miller's
Association wrote to the No! GMO Campaign.
In the U.S., a recent report from the Western Organization of
Resource Councils, a network of seven community farmer, rancher
and consumer organizations, shows that U.S. wheat prices could
fall by 40 percent or more if industry efforts to develop GM wheat
"U.S. family farmers will do everything to protect our wheat
from Monsanto and we do not accept that any corporation has the
right to patents on life, including seeds," said Dena Hoff
from the National Family Farm Coalition in the U.S. "GM wheat
would contaminate our crops and food supply, and put an end to
organic grain production. Farmers in the U.S. have already rejected
GM wheat and Monsanto is sorely mistaken if they think farmers
will ever accept GM wheat."
"The big push is on from Monsanto to pave the way for GM
wheat but the reality is that strong and widespread opposition
from farmers and consumers in Australia and across the world is
here to stay," said Laura Kelly from Greenpeace Australia
(1) The list of signatories to the "Definitive Global Rejection
of Genetically Modified Wheat" statement can be viewed at
(2) "A Review of the Potential Market Impacts of Commercializing
GM Wheat in the U.S." January 2010, Western Organization
of Resource Councils, https://www.worc.org/GM-Wheat
Reference Sources 123
February 15, 2010