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Opposition To GM Wheat Remains Strong

Acoalition of farmer and consumer groups opposed to the introduction of genetically modified wheat says their campaign now has support from 233 consumer and farmer groups in 26 countries.

The 233 groups signed the rejection statement first launched by 15 Australian, Canadian and U. S. farmer and consumer groups in June 2009, according to a release.

The National Farmers Union, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, the Tokyobased No! GMO Campaign and Greenpeace are co-ordinating the “Definitive Global Rejection of GM Wheat” campaign.

NFU president Terry Boehm cited the Triffid flax debacle as an example of the kinds of losses farmers will experience if genetically modified crops receive regulatory approval before they have public acceptance.

“Our current experience with GM flax contamination clearly illustrates the crippling losses Canadian farmers will suffer if GM wheat is introduced,” Boehm said. “Flax is yet another warning that once a GM crop is introduced, contamination is inevitable.”

In July 2009, Monsanto announced new research into GM wheat, which has reignited the controversy.

“In 2004, a coalition of Japanese consumer and food industry groups delivered a petition to the governments of Canada and the U. S. urging them not to introduce GM wheat. Today, consumer rejection of GM wheat in Japan is just as strong as ever. Eighty organizations in Japan have already signed the rejection statement,” said Keisuke Amagasa of the Tokyo-based No! GMO Campaign.

Japan’s flour companies are also rejecting GM wheat, echoing consumer opposition.

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