Saturday, April 12, 2014

Genetically Modified Wheat

Slightly more than six years ago, the baking industry and Monsanto, St. Louis, MO, one of the world’s largest seed producers, agreed to abandon efforts to develop and plant genetically engineered (GE) wheat for a host of reasons. Some bakers expressed concern about consumer acceptance. Others worried about the millers’ ability to segregate biotech wheat from non-biotech wheat. Simply put, a vocal core of bakers quietly argued behind the scenes that there were too many uncertainties and unknowns to take the risk at that time. 

Now, Monsanto Co. said it has moved from the “proof of concept” phase into the “early development” phase for its herbicide-tolerant wheat, a move the St. Louis-based company said brings it closer to its goal of introducing a bioengineered wheat variety. Despite the progress, Robb Fraley, executive vice-president and chief technology officer, said a product launch is still “several years away.”

“We have field tested and advanced one of the first wheat biotech products based on improvements in weed control,” Mr. Fraley said during a Jan. 8 conference call to discuss first-quarter results. “From an overall market perspective, the grain industry and the wheat industry — specifically the wheat trade industry — has remained very interested and supportive of biotech advances.
“A wheat farmer generally is also a corn and soybean farmer, and they understand the benefits of the technology, and the wheat industry has watched the benefits that this technology has brought to both corn and soybeans. And so we continue to make advances.
“We are still several years away from a product launch, but it is nice to see those products in the pipeline.”
The herbicide-tolerant wheat product was designed to give growers another broad spectrum weed control option for weed management with glyphosate tolerant wheat. Monsanto said field trials were conducted last year in Fargo, N.D.

Ed Winkle


  1. We can't play God without a price to pay at some point. The bad thing is that it may not be the guilty party who pays it.

  2. This was news to me. I thought the issue is dead. I should have known better. Wherever there is money to be made, follow the money.

  3. So they are developing it for a market demand.
    You just can't accept the fact that not everyone agrees with your opinions. You don't have facts to back up your opinions. Keep crying wolf. Your true agenda is showing up every time you do.