Biotech company Monsanto has asked Canadian and US regulators to attest to the safety of its genetically modified wheat as it seeks approval for the commercialisation of the grain.
Regulatory approval will not necessarily, however, lead to commercialisation of the wheat, which is engineered to resist Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide.
Monsanto has insisted that before commercialisation it will meet further conditions such as finding buyers for the GM wheat, ensuring it will be kept separate from non-GM wheat, and ensuring grain handlers can adequately test for the presence of GM wheat in non-GM shipments to meet international standards.
The GM wheat has already met with some criticism. The US Wheat Associates marketing organisation has warned that the Monsanto Roundup Ready Wheat will endanger US wheat sales. According to a survey by the Canadian Wheat Board, 80% of Canadian wheat buyers have said they do not want to buy GM wheat, reported Reuters.