OMAHA, Nebraska, January 14, 2004 -- CropChoice news (DTN, 01/12/04):
Reports from some Canadian news sources over the weekend
that the Canadian government was ending its collaboration
with Monsanto to develop genetically modified wheat
were inaccurate, spokespersons for both Ag Canada and
Monsanto told DTN.
"The story is that there's no story," said
Jim Bole, director of cereal research for Agriculture
Canada in Winnipeg.
Agriculture Canada and Monsanto have been working since
1997 on the development of Roundup-Ready wheat, and
their work together is slated to continue until 2005.
Bole said there's been "no change at all"
in the collaborative agreement.
"Most of the research is done," Bole told
DTN, but Ag Canada and Monsanto are still evaluating
the Roundup Ready lines of wheat in the study. The purpose
of the joint project was to study the agronomics of
RR wheat -- how to manage production in rotation with
other crops, how to control volunteer wheat and so forth.
Monsanto spokesperson Trish Jordan confirmed to DTN
that the company is still actively involved in the development
of Roundup Ready wheat in Canada and the U.S. Jordan
said agreements with Ag Canada are still in place.
"A large majority of the work is done, but I think
it's important to understand the context [of the whole
project]," Jordan said. The field work is done,
but that by no means signals the abandonment of the
"Monsanto has every intention of completing it
[work on RR wheat]," Jordan said. "We intend
to address farmers' questions on management issues."
Jordan said Canadian regulatory agencies have had the
package for about a year, and it typically takes two
to two and a half years to complete the review.
"We've been very forward" in the process,
Jordan told DTN.
"Some think commercial introduction is imminent,
but that's not true," Jordan said.
A Canadian Press report over the weekend had said Ag
Canada was "ending its work" with Monsanto
to develop biotech wheat.