Canadian Farmers Opposed to GM Wheat: 2009 Survey

This year’s Canadian Wheat Board survey reports that “Canadian farmers oppose the introduction of genetically modified wheat”.  There is, however, a qualifier: “until market conditions change”.  Cautious optimism is required.

A Monsanto spokeswoman comments, “the Roundup-Ready wheat survey is irrelevant today because five years have
passed and Monsanto is no longer pursuing that or any GMO wheat”.

However, if you compare this year’s CWB survey results to that of five years ago, you’ll sense that economic pressure is likely a driving factor with the change in farmers’ interest to produce genetically-modified wheat.

For 2009:

…of 1,300 Western Canadian farmers, only 9 percent said GMO wheat
should be grown as soon as it’s available, with the majority saying it
shouldn’t be grown until conditions are met such as proving benefits to
farmers and demonstrating market demand. Nineteen percent said it
should not be grown in Canada.

Farmers were close to evenly split when asked how interested they
are in growing GM wheat. Fifty-one percent said they’re not interested,
with 46 percent very or somewhat interested.

Compared to:

…1,566 Prairie farmers five years ago and found 83 percent disagreed
Roundup-Ready wheat should be commercially developed. Farmers felt the
benefits of Roundup-Ready wheat outweighed the risks of losing markets,
increasing corporate control of the food supply and contamination of
non-GMO crops

Don’t think for one minute that that is the last you’ll hear or see of Monsanto.  Rogers Sugar/Lantic Inc. chose, earlier this year, to accept genetically modified (GM) sugar beet in their sugar products.  The sugar beet is genetically modified by Monsanto to be tolerant to the company’s brand name herbicide Roundup.

It may not stop there.  Last month, the NDP of Canada reported that the federal government blocked consensus at an international seed treaty meeting to protect farmers against large corporations. 

###

Read the full article, “Canadian Farmers Opposed to GM Wheat: Survey“, covered by Reuters today at:
http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE55O2Z620090625

View the Canadian Wheat Board 2009 Producer’s Survey Results (June 2009) at:
http://www.cwb.ca/public/en/farmers/surveys/producer/pdf/survey_full_061809.pdf
 

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