MONSANTO SEES ASIA WARM TO BIO-CROPS FOR FOOD SECURITY
June 30, 1999
SINGAPORE -- Charles Martin, vice president for corporate communications
at Monsanto Far East Ltd. was cited as telling Dow Jones Newswires that
Asia is warming to genetically modified organisms in agriculture and will
step up usage of such technology over the next few years, because of the
need to increase yields to achieve food security.
Martin was further cited as saying that while already eating these crops,
not all Asian countries are growing them, adding, Asian governments are
"at various stages of refining their regulations as to what you have to do
in terms of testing, the safety requirements (and) environmental
requirements in order to grow these crops in the country. In the U.S.,
(GMO crops have) been approved for planting and in Asia, the only country
that has planted GMOs is China."
The story says that at the moment, Monsanto is selling its Bacillus
thuringiensis, or Bt, cotton seed only to China, the world's largest
Monsanto is now conducting field tests on Bt corn in China, Thailand and
Indonesia, and will target the Philippines later this year, he said.
Testing and obtaining approval to develop and sell the seeds will take two
to three years, Martin said.
Martin said that GMO crops have clear benefits for Asian nations concerned
with food security. He highlighted two specific areas: lower food prices
through lower production costs and reduced usage of pesticides, which are
both expensive and can kill a lot of insects unnecessarily.
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