Friday, May 31, 2013

Monsanto Down 4% on GMO Wheat, Now Europe (zero tolerance) is Mulling its Options (MON)

The stock closed at $ 100.64 -$4.33 (-4.12%) which was the low for the day.
Now it turns out that Monsanto may have been regaling the USDA with tall tales.
From Bloomberg:
Monsanto Resumed Field Trials of Roundup Ready Wheat
Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, resumed planting of experimental wheat engineered to survive Roundup herbicide, U.S. data show, reviving a similar program that has caused international concern with the discovery that the crop escaped in Oregon.

Monsanto last year planted 150 acres of wheat in Hawaii that was genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate weedkiller, which the company sells as Roundup, according to a Virginia Tech database administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Another permit allows Monsanto to test wheat with multiple traits, including Roundup tolerance, on 300 acres in North Dakota this year.

Monsanto said May 29 in a statement that it ended its program to develop Roundup Ready wheat nearly a decade before the USDA announced this week that the experimental crop was discovered growing on an Oregon farm. The Roundup Ready wheat in the new field trials is “an entirely different event” than the escaped crop reported by the USDA, Monsanto said.

“This research is still in the very early phases and at least a decade away from commercial approval,” Lee Quarles, a Monsanto spokesman, said in an e-mail response to questions today. “The Roundup Ready wheat project that is the subject of the USDA report was previously discontinued.”
The Oregon discovery prompted Japan to suspend imports of western-white wheat and feed wheat and South Korea to increase inspections on imports. In the statement, Monsanto said it completed “closing out the Roundup Ready wheat program” nine years ago.

The USDA is investigating how the experimental wheat was found so long after Monsanto said research ended. Monsanto conducted eight Oregon field trials on herbicide-tolerant wheat between 1999 and 2002, according to the Virginia Tech database....MORE 
And from the Washington Post:
European Union urges testing of U.S. wheat imports for unapproved Monsanto strain
The European Union advised member states Friday to test certain wheat shipments from the United States, and South Korea joined Japan in suspending some U.S. wheat imports in response to the recent discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat in an 80-acre field in Oregon.

The E.U. consumer protection office said in a statement that it was “following carefully the presence of this non-authorized GM [genetically modified] wheat in Oregon in order to ensure that European consumers are protected from any unauthorized GM presence and make sure that the E.U. zero tolerance for such GM events is implemented.”

The 27-member European Union imports more than 1.1 million tons of American wheat a year, 80 percent of which is soft white white, the Associated Press reported. Spain is the leading buyer....MORE 
UPDATED--Japan Refuses to Buy U.S. Wheat Because of Monsanto (MON)