Monsanto denied request for large GM crop trial in Australia

April 1, 2004, Australia will not conduct commercial size trials of genetically modified crops, reported Agence France Presse. Biotechnology giant Monsanto lost its bid for a commercial-scale trial of GM canola after objections from Australia’s monopoly wheat exporter AWB.

NSW Agriculture Minister Ian Macdonald said AWB had voiced concerns that the country’s wheat export market could be negatively affected by the trial.

"AWB is the largest exporter by a significant factor, we have to be very careful we don't upset their markets," Macdonald was quoted by AFP as saying.

Monsanto said it was extremely disappointed with the decision, reported "The biggest losers are NSW farmers and the environment in which they farm," Monsanto executive director Claude Gauchat said.