Synchronized Biotech Introduction is Goal for Wheat Groups

Commercialization of biotech traits in wheat will be worked on by U.S., Canada and Australia.

Published on: May 14, 2009

On Thursday it was announced that wheat industry organizations representing the United States, Canada and Australia will collaborate to introduce biotech traits into wheat in synchronization. The groups agreed that a coordinated introduction would minimize market disruption and be in the best interest of all three countries.

There is currently no commercial production of genetically modified wheat anywhere in the world, and it has been a somewhat sensitive subject, especially in major export markets in Europe and Asia.

The statement noted the slow growth trend of wheat yields compared to other crops and highlighted the importance of wheat to the food supply as well as declining acres in all three countries. Noting that biotechnology is not the only answer to a host of agronomic questions facing wheat production, the groups agreed it could be a "significant component" to tackling major issues facing the industry.

Signing onto the statement were the National Association of Wheat Growers, U.S. Wheat Associates, and the North American Millers' Association from the U.S. From Canada the Grain Growers of Canada, Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission all signed on, and Australian signatories include Grains Council of Australia, Grain Growers Association, and Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia (Inc.).

The full statement is available online at www.wheatworld.org/biotech and at http://www.uswheat.org/biotechnology.