Canada, November 30, 2003 -- CropChoice news -- CBC
News, 11/28/03: CBC News has learned that Agriculture
Canada stands to get money from the sale of Monsanto's
Round-up Ready Wheat. Documents obtained by CBC reveal
the government will be paid a kind of royalty from sales
of the Monsanto product.
The documents obtained by CBC news reveal that Agriculture
Canada has invested nearly $4 million in the development
of Monsanto's product.
A portion of that royalty would be a direct cash injection,
but most of it would be wages paid to Agriculture Canada
researchers who have worked on the development of the
genetically modified (GM) wheat and seed material.
If the wheat Agriculture Canada worked on is ever sold,
the department would receive a percentage of the sales.
That would amount to slightly less than five percent.
Bradford Duplessis, a reseacher with the Canadian Health
Coalition, says there is a perception of conflict in
this kind of relationship.
"To have a body that is supposed to be regulating
GM crops, actually reporting to the Minister responsible
for promoting GM crops...obviously there is a serious
and dangerous conflict of interest there," he says.
Department officials deny there is a conflict. They
say the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, an arms length
branch of the department, is responsible for regulation
of all food products.
Industry analyst Murray Fulton says more distance is
needed in the case of something as controversial as
"It's going to require some extra work to really
make sure that this issue doesn't get played out in
such a way that the public begins to lose confidence
in the process itself," he warns.
Fulton said it would be better if an independent body
took responsibility of regulating GM crops.