Transnational biotech giant Monsanto announced substantial advances in developing an herbicide-tolerant wheat, and could introduce the product for farming within a few years’ time.
Like other GMO crops, Monsanto’s wheat would be resistant to the company’s patented weed killer Roundup and thus join other “Roundup Ready” products it markets, including bioengineered soybeans and corn.
Genetically-modified wheat is not presently legal anywhere in the world, yet Monsanto has worked for over a decade to develop the first GMO strain and is eying its introduction.
Monsanto representatives say GMO wheat-in-progress is among 29 endeavors being undertaken by the multi-billion dollar entity to have made “phase advancements” recently, and testing has moved from the “proof of concept” stage to early development.
“From an overall market perspective, the grain industry and the wheat industry — specifically the wheat trade industry — has remained very interested and supportive of biotech advances,” Monsanto CTO Robb Fraley remarked.
Baking Business reporter Eric Schroeder also believes GMO wheat will be well-received by the agricultural industry. “A wheat farmer generally is also a corn and soybean farmer, and they understand the benefits of the technology, and the wheat industry has watched the benefits that this technology has brought to both corn and soybeans. And so we continue to make advances,” Schroeder said.
Sources: “Monsanto Readies First-Ever GMO Wheat,” RT.com, January 15, 2014, http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-gmo-wheat-crop-648/.
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