Monsanto shelves plan for GMO wheat
halted its effort to introduce the world's first genetically modified wheat,
conceding that American farmers were concerned that the crop could endanger U.S.
exports because of foreign market concerns over GMO crops. The wheat was
genetically engineered to be resistant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, allowing
farmers to kill weeds in their fields while leaving the crop intact.
Analysts said that
much of the opposition came not just from environmentalists but from many U.S.
farmers who said foreign wheat buyers said that their consumers would not buy
GMO wheat, while other buyers said it would be impossible for U.S. farmers to
keep GMO and non-GMO wheat separated. As a result, foreign buyers said they
would not buy any U.S. wheat because of fears it might contain some GMO wheat.
"Farmers are not opposed to planting a genetically modified crop as long as they could find someone to buy it," said Robert Carlson, president of the North Dakota Farms Union. In this case, he said, the overseas customers "have indicated they will not accept any genetically modified wheat." Monsanto indicated it would continue to focus its efforts on four crops that have been genetically engineered for years - canola, corn, cotton, and soybeans.