“Monsanto suspends development of herbicide resistant GM wheat
– Japanese consumer petition stops GM wheat”
NO! GMO Campaign
Director, Keisuke AMAGASA
On 10 May 2004, the Monsanto Company made an about-turn from previous strong
promotion of its new herbicide resistant (Roundup Ready) GM wheat variety to
announce that it was suspending further development. In the announcement,
the company stated that they would defer all further efforts to introduce
Roundup Ready wheat and that they would discontinue breeding and field level
research of the crop until such time that other wheat biotechnology traits
This announcement says that the company was suspending R&D and does not say
that it is withdrawing from the field, and also stated that it was not
withdrawing the applications for approval that have already been submitted.
This is effectively a setback for the company, and something close to a
declaration of withdrawal.
Monsanto applied for approval of the GM wheat variety simultaneously in the
USA and Canada in 2002, and was working for a start to cultivation in 2005.
However, strong resistance from both producers and consumers all over the
world has made commercialisation all but impossible. Especially the strong
opposition from the largest markets, Japanese and Korean consumers, to GE
wheat has caused panic to spread among the producers of North America.
From 21 to 28 March 2004, a group of six Japanese consumer representatives,
including representatives from the No! GMO Campaign, visited Canada and the
USA to present a petition to opposing the GM wheat to the Canadian federal
government and a state government of the USA (North Dakota). The petition
was signed by 414 organizations representing over 1.2 million Japanese
people. It is thought that this visit and the submission of the petition had
a very strong effect on public and official thinking in the two countries.
Effectively this means that Japanese consumer pressure has been successful
in forcing Monsanto to suspend development of both GM rice and GM wheat. The
company has tried to sell its GM crops to the world using its financial and
political power, but it has now been shown that if Japanese consumers form
strong links with and fight alongside people all over the world they will
not be beaten.
BITE BACK: WTO HANDS OFF OUR FOOD!
Sign the Citizens’ Objection to the WTO!
George Bush is using the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to force-feed you
genetically modified food! You can help stop them: BITE BACK!
Biotech companies have invested billions into genetically modified foods
that nobody needs and nobody wants. Such products (known as GMOs) take away
consumer choice, make farmers dependent on big business and undermine food
security in developing countries. Nobody knows what risks they pose to
people’s health and the environment.
To force GMOs into global markets, George Bush has filed a legal dispute at
the WTO, accusing the European Union of blocking trade by restricting GMOs.
If successful, not only will the EU have to accept genetically modified food
and farming but so will the rest of the world.
Stop them: BITE BACK and sign the Citizens’ Objection to the WTO online at