ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

22 February 2002


1. report: Monsanto and its "Growing Partnerships"
2. Monsanto aiming for GM wheat introduction in 2005


1. report: Monsanto and its "Growing Partnerships" from: The Edmonds Institute

February 19, 2002. Three pamphlets from Monsanto corporation arrived at the Institute today. One of them - "Fulfilling Our Pledge" is on the Monsanto website <www/>. The other two pamphlets do not appear to be on that website and since they appear not to be copyrighted, we are taking the liberty of sharing some of their contents. Please note that all the material quoted below comes from Monsanto publications; if you use the information, please give credit where credit is due.

From the pamphlet "Growing Partnerships for Food and Health: Developing Country Initiatives in Agricultural Product and Technology Cooperation" -

from page 5:

"In  countries throughout the world, Monsanto is working with smallholders, non-profit development organizations, and other partners...

..In Ghana...In partnership with SG2000, the Crop Research Institute, the University of Development Studies and others in the public and private sectors, Monsanto provides funding funding, training, and technical assistance in the best agronomic systems...

..In South Africa, smallholders who have adopted Monsanto's Bollgard insect-protected cotton in the Makhathini Flats area...

..In the high valleys and tropical areas of Mexico, thousands of smallholders who participate in the Monsanto Campo Unido ("United Fields") technology transfer program increased their corn yields up to 100 percent.

..In East Java, Indonesia, Monsanto is partnering with a local NGO (Utika Mandriri) to help smallholder farmers form Self-Help Groups. Through these groups, farmers learn to use improved seeds...

..In several of India's states, thousands of smallholders participate in Humsafar ("Journey Together") programs, which provide them with improved technology packages, a help line and a web site. Monsanto offers these programs in partnership with several NGOs and others in the private sector."

from page 6:

"...Following are brief descriptions of our partners' activities in the enhancement of agriculture worldwide:

- The Mexican Foundation for Rural Development (FMDR), founded in 1969, is the largest rural development NGO in Mexico. Its mission is to foster economic and social development among the country's low-income rural families, and it is a leading partner with Monsanto in smallholder initiatives throughout the country.

- The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) is a not-for-profit international organization that aims to increase crop productivity for resource-poor farmers in Africa and Southeast Asia. By facilitating the transfer of plant biotechnology from industrialized countries - particularly proprietary technology from the private sector - ISAAA is bringing new hope to farmers. ISAAA, Monsanto, and other national research institutes are developing virus-resistant papaya and sweet potato.

- The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), located in Nairobi, is an agricultural, research center that develops and disseminates appropriate technologies to Kenyan farmers. KARI and Monsanto have been working together since 1991 to develop virus-resistant sweet potatoes for smallholders in Africa.

- Sasakawa Global 2000, headed by Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, is an NGO that works with Monsanto and a number of government and non-government organizations to bring modern agricultural technology to smallholders in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, and other sub-Saharan African countries.

- The Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), located in New Delhi, India, is a not-for-profit organization with research activities in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development. TERI's Bioresources and Biotechnology Research Division is working with Monsanto and Michigan State University to develop mustard plants that produce increased amounts of beta-carotene (pro-Vitamin A) in their seeds.

- Winrock International is a non-profit organization that works with people worldwide to increase agricultural productivity and rural employment in ways that also protect the environment. Monsanto has partnered with Winrock through its ON FARM agriculture programs in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali and Indonesia since 1955."

from page 8:

"Technology Cooperation Projects"

Crop: Mustard - Technology: Beta-carotene enrichment - Geography: India, Partners: TERI

Crop: Papaya - Technology: Virus resistance, Geography- SE Asia, Partners: ISAAA

Crop: Potato - Technology: Virus resistance - Geography: Mexico - Partners: CINVESTAV, ISAAA, FDMR

Crop: "Golden" Rice - Technology: Enabling technologies (license only) - Geography: Global - Partners: Inventors, Humanitarian Board

Crop: Rice and related crops - Technology: Rice genome sequence data - Georgraphy: Global - Partners: IRGSP, others

Crop: Sweet Potato - Technology" Virus resistance - Geography: Africa (Kenya), Partners: KARI, ISAAA

Note: The "Growing Partners" pamphlet had a sleeve that contained two pages with further data. Both were called "Backgrounder"s and mentioned other names in the national and international programs described above.
In the pamphlet entitled "Monsanto Fund Global Contributions Report 2000" several recipients of Monsanto grants were highlighted: the Buhle Academy in Delmas, South Africa; the Cassava Project in Nairobi, Kenya and at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri; The Magic House of the St. Louis Children's Museum; science programs in "six school districts that demonstrated a remarkable commitment to science education and environmental stewardship" in the US; environmental projects such as the Insectarium in St. Louis, the Lake Ponchartrain Basin Foundation in Louisiana, The Nature Conservancy's program in Brazil's Cerrado area (described as an enormous resource for their country's economic development"), and the Plant Genetics Conservation Project in Thailand; the TREND program in 19 US states and Guam; the Instituto de Cultura Solídaria in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the Childlife Trust in Kenya.

At the end of the pamphlet were listings of organizations that received grants of $1000 and larger from the Monsanto Fund and the Monsanto Company. Grant recipients included the Boy Scouts of Greater St. Louis, the Council on Economic Priorities in New York, the Biotechnology Institute of Pennsylvania, the Redwood Falls Fire Department in Minnesota, the Academy of Science of St. Louis, Alliance for a Livable World-Missouri, American Psychology Association-Colorado,the Keystone Center-Colorado, Missouri Botanical Garden, National Science Teachers Association-Washington, DC, Resources for the Future-Missouri, Society for Invitro Biology-Maryland, and many, many other cultural, educational, and civic organizations throughout the US.

Among Monsanto recipients of grants "$1,000 or larger" outside the US were The Food, Health and Hope Foundation Trust - South Africa, Fundacion Cimientos - Argentina, Indonesian Institute of Science-Indonesia, Instituto de Cultura Solidaria - Argentina, Instituto de Solidariedade a Familia - Brazil, Key Foundation - Canada, Kroeger College - Canada, King Edward VI School - England, The Korea Aged Men Association - Korea, Notre Dame Business Resource Center - Philippines, Plant Genetics Conservation Project - Thailand, the National Agribusiness Development Council - Philippines, Singapore Science Center - Singapore, Technoserve - Kenya, Vanari Trust - India, Fudan University - China, Oita Wheelchair Marathon - Japan, Fundacíon Mexicana Para el Desarrollo Rural - Mexico, and Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo - Mexico.

According to the pamphlet, in 2000 the Monsanto Fund gave $15,700,000 in grants and the Monsanto Company gave $2,100,000.

Monsanto Fund Board Members were listed as: Håkan Aström, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Pharmacia; Phillip Cara, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Pharmacia; Carl Casale, Vice President and General Manager, North American Agriculture, Monsanto; Francisco Diaz, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Latin American Operations, Monsanto; and Kathryn Kissam, Director, Public Affairs and Corporate Marketing, Monsanto.
It is possible that copies of the pamphlets described above may be available from Monsanto at 800 N. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63167 USA.
This report concerning "Monsanto and its Growing Partnerships" was written by Freida Morris, a research associate of The Edmonds Institute


2. Monsanto aiming for GM wheat introduction in 2005

By Anne Brockhoff
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb 20

Reuters: Monsanto Co.'s effort to gain regulatory approval for genetically modified wheat seed in the U.S. is taking longer than expected, but should still allow for a market introduction by 2005, a company executive said Wednesday.

 Monsanto, which already sells genetically modified corn and soybean seed, had at one point set its sights on introducing an herbicide-resistant spring wheat by 2003.

The company will now focus on meeting a later deadline of 2005, Bill Pilacinski, Monsanto's regulatory affairs manager, said Wednesday. "It's unlikely that we'll make 2003 based on all we have to do," Pilacinski said during the Wheat Quality Council's annual meeting in Kansas City.

Monsanto, the maker of the popular Roundup Ready herbicide, intends to introduce the GM strain in top spring wheat growing states in the U.S. and is also conducting field trials across Western Canada. While Monsanto has completed a raft of studies on product characterization, food and feed safety, product performance and ecological impact, it is just now preparing a series of required submissions for regulatory approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Pilacinski. The company will also file for regulatory approval in Canada, Japan and the European Union in 2002, and submit applications for approval in other major wheat importers in late 2002 and 2003, Pilacinski said. The prospect of GM wheat has been contentious, with many international wheat importers warning they would shun the biotech offering. Consequently, some growers have expressed concerns commercialization of GM wheat would hurt their ability to sell wheat. Monsanto has been working hard to win over the grain industry. Pilacinski said Monsanto is working to develop grain handling techniques to aid the industry in segregating GM wheat from non-GM wheat. It has also created a Wheat Industry Advisory Committee to seek input from farmers, state wheat growers organizations and others. Still, Pilacinski admits the real challenge will come from consumers. European and Asian governments have demanded GM crops be stored, shipped and processed separately from their traditional counterparts and are seeking more tests on how GM grains affect human health and the environment. "We haven't had much to tell them so far," Pilacinski admitted. "We only recently got results from the safety studies. Now that we have the data, we have something to tell people." BASF, Europe's largest chemicals group, may avoid some of that controversy with the introduction of its herbicide tolerant - but not genetically modified - wheat seed by autumn 2002. The company is working with AgriPro, the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation and General Mills to develop its "Clearfield" seeds, which are resistant to BASF's "Beyond" herbicide and were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques. But that doesn't mean BASF is opposed to GM crops and won't introduce such products in the future, said Bruce Cranfill, the product's marketing manager, said. "We see transgenics as the future. All we're saying now is our current product is non-GM. But we're not anti-GM," Cranfill said.

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