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GM wheat could slam U.S. wheat prices

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Biotech wheat could slam U.S. wheat prices -report

Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:50pm EST
* European Union and Japan opposed to biotech wheat

* Lost exports could send U.S. spring wheat down 40 pct

By Carey Gillam

CHICAGO, Jan 27 (Reuters) U.S. wheat prices could fall by 40 percent
or more
if industry efforts to develop a biotech wheat succeed,
according to an industry report issued on Wednesday.

The report, issued by the Western Organization of Resource Councils, a
farmer and rancher group, cited persistent opposition to genetically
modified wheat in Europe, Japan, and other Asian countries. It said
buyers in those countries probably would shift purchases away from the
United States, if a biotech wheat was commercialized here.

The price of U.S. hard red spring wheat would fall 40 percent, the
report predicted, and the price of durum wheat would drop 57 percent.

“Introduction of genetically modified wheat in the United States is a
risky proposition,” said the report’s author, industry consultant Neal
Blue, a former research economist at Ohio State University.

Any biotech wheat is still years from commercialization as companies
like Monsanto Co, Dow AgroSciences, and others research various
improvements to the crop through genetic modifications and other means.

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