The Canadian Wheat Board may consider legal action to stop biotech firm Monsanto from growing genetically modified wheat in Canada outside government-run trials.
“We’ve given strong assurances to our customers that we will make sure this situation is resolved in Canada and we intend to take whatever action necessary to do that,” Adrian Measner, president and chief executive of the grain marketing agency, told Reuters.
Monsanto is seeking approvals from Canadian and US regulators for a GM wheat that withstands the company’s popular weedkiller, Roundup.
Measner warned that if such approvals were given, Canada would be unable to maintain guarantees that its exports do not contain any GM wheat. More than 80% of CWB’s customers have said they do not want to buy wheat that may contain GM seeds.
The Canadian Wheat Board has asked Monsanto to withdraw its application, but Measner said the biotech company has not formally responded.
“We’ll see if there’s other action we need to take directly with Monsanto,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying. “We’re going to review all possibilities and we haven’t made any decisions on that, but it could include legal action.”