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‘We’re not ready for Roundup Ready wheat’

Our History: August 2003

In the early 2000s, Monsanto had developed Roundup Ready wheat and had established variety trials in Western Canada, but its proposed licensing attracted strong opposition, as evidenced by this ad in our July 24, 2003 issue. The Canadian Wheat Board had warned that export customers could refuse any wheat contaminated with genetically modified varieties, a concern shared by many farmers. In the same issue we reported that Keystone Agricultural Producers delegates had narrowly defeated a resolution calling for a boycott of Monsanto if it proceeded with commercialization. Some farmers had also expressed concern that Roundup Ready wheat volunteers would be difficult to control in rotation with Roundup Ready canola. Monsanto later withdrew its intention to proceed with commercialization.

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At the same meeting, KAP delegates had passed a resolution asking for the provincial and federal governments to develop a plan to support the cattle industry, which was still reeling from the closure of the U.S. border following discovery of a BSE-infected cow in May. It supported the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s call for a $2-per-day feed subsidy to compensate producers forced to hold cattle longer before marketing. The federal government had taken the first step by requiring that “specified risk materials” — the brain, spinal cord, nervous system tissues and part of the small intestine — be removed before cutting the carcass.

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