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CONTACT: Ronnie Cummins 218-349-3836 --
 or Ryan Zinn 415-271-6833

5/10/2004

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION & ALLIES DECLARE MAJOR VICTORY AS MONSANTO DROPS GE WHEAT


After undergoing intense pressure from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and its allies, Monsanto has decided to shelve plans to introduce its controversial genetically engineered Roundup Ready wheat. Monsanto announced its decision was reached after a comprehensive review of the corporation's research investment portfolio and extensive consultation with customers in the wheat industry.
 
“This is the beginning of the end of genetically engineered crops,” said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of the OCA. “This is a bitter defeat for Monsanto and a well-deserved victory for family farmers and consumers.”

Farmers across North America have been resisting the introduction of the biotech wheat crop, based on concerns over its negative impacts on the economy and the environment.

Monsanto, the corporation that developed Agent Orange, DDT, Bovine Growth Hormone and PCBs, engineered its wheat to withstand applications of the company's toxic Roundup herbicide. Scientists from the University  of Manitoba recently released a report stating that "Under current conditions the release of Roundup Ready wheat in Western Canada would be environmentally unsafe." Monsanto's GE wheat would lead to an increase in the use of glyphosate herbicide, a widely-used chemical now being linked to increased growth of fungal plant pathogens, known as fusarium head blight (FHB). FHB has already caused tens of millions of dollars in losses for wheat farmers on the eastern prairies of Canada.

Consumers in Japan, South Korea and Europe - some of the biggest international consumers of wheat - have indicated they do not want an engineered version of the crop.

The OCA launched an anti-GE wheat campaign two years ago to educate consumers and farmers about the potential impacts of GE wheat. This campaign has evolved into OCA’s “Millions Against Monsanto” campaign which has been mobilizing consumers around the world to pressure the corporation to: • Stop intimidating small family farmers.
• Stop force-feeding untested and unlabeled genetically engineered foods on consumers.
• Stop using billions of dollars of U.S.  taxpayers' money to subsidize genetically engineered crops--cotton,  soybeans, corn, and canola.
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Media Calls: CONTACT: Ronnie Cummins 218-349-3836 --
 or Ryan Zinn 415-271-6833
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The OCA is a grassroots nonprofit organization concerned with food safety, organic farming, sustainable agriculture, fair trade and genetic engineering.

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ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION · 6101  CLIFF ESTATE ROAD · LITTLE MARAIS,  MN  55614  USA
Telephone: 218-226-4164 ·
Fax: 218-353-7652·

email: info@organicconsumers.org;
http://www.organicconsumers.org