The article bellows appears in today's Wall Street Journal.
1306 Whedbee St
Ft Collins, CO 80524
ADM Warns Its Grain Suppliers
To Segregate Gene-Altered Crops
By SCOTT KILMAN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., in a move that could dent
farmer interest in biotechnology, warned its grain
suppliers to begin segregating genetically modified
crops from conventional crops.
The statement by one of America's biggest millers,
which is being faxed to grain elevators throughout the
Midwest, is the clearest sign yet that the consumer
backlash over genetically modified crops in Europe and
Asia is rattling American exporters, as well as creating
Practically speaking, there isn't enough time for any big
changes this year because the Midwest harvest starts in a
few weeks. Roughly half of the soybean fields maturing
in U.S. fields are genetically altered, and almost all of
that crop will be mixed with conventional soybeans.
Install Testing Equipment
But the statement by the Decatur, Ill., grain processor is
clearly intended to warn Midwest grain elevators and
farmers to prepare to do business differently next year.
Many of the hundreds of grain elevators that supply
ADM might need to install testing equipment that
identifies gene-altered crops. Potentially thousands of
farmers will have to build new storage bins in order to
keep their crops apart.
"This should be a wake-up call to the industry," an ADM
Although ADM said it "remains supportive of the
science and safety" of genetically engineered crops, the
company said it wants to be in a position to supply a
growing number of overseas customers who are leery of
genetically modified crops.
ADM's biggest rivals have yet to follow its lead. But
farmer groups reacted angrily Wednesday because they
fear the move could lead to an industrywide two-tier
pricing system that would penalize their members for
growing the new crops.
Introduced three years ago, the first wave of genetically
modified plants have been wildly popular with U.S.
soybean, corn and cotton farmers because they are easier
to grow than their conventional cousins. The plants are
genetically altered so that they resist pests and tolerate
exposure to herbicides.
The National Corn Growers Association said in a
statement that ADM's new policy "undoubtedly adds to
the many profitability problems that growers are
experiencing this year with low prices and drought
Leon Corzine, an Assumption, Ill., corn and soybean
farmer who sells crops to ADM, said he and his
neighbors will be less likely to plant genetically
modified crops because of the company's policy. "I
guess the new technology has just outrun consumer
acceptance," he said.
Monsanto Co., one of the biggest suppliers of genetically
modified seed, had already expected U.S. sales of its
genetically modified lines to grow somewhat more
slowly next year, in large part because the product
already penetrated much of the farmer market.
While grain officials said ADM's move could damp
demand by some farmers for genetically engineered
seed, the St. Louis biotechnology company expects
"continued adoption of the technology by farmers," said
Nicholas Filippello, a Monsanto economist, adding:
"We don't expect a significant impact on our financial
In New York Stock Exchange composite trading
Wednesday, Monsanto rose 12.5 cents a share to close at
$41.25 a share.
New Products From Grain
Most grain processors have been loath to handle
genetically modified crops any differently. They don't
want to give any ammunition to groups critical of a
technology the processors hope might some day permit
them to make new products and chemicals from grain.
Cargill Inc., for example, reiterated Wednesday that it
hasn't any plans to require that farmers segregate the
crops it buys from them on the open market. The
Minneapolis commodity company, which has a
biotechnology joint venture with Monsanto, said that if
consumer demand for conventional crops became strong
enough it would instead contract with farmers to grow
ADM is taking a different tack in part because it has less
invested in crop biotechnology than its rivals. Another
reason is that ADM makes soybean-based veggie
burgers; vegetarians seem particularly concerned about
ADM had already warned farmers earlier this year that
some of its U.S. mills wouldn't accept some lines of
insect-proof corn because they hadn't been cleared by
European Union regulators for import into Europe.
ADM also formed a joint venture with DuPont Co. in
April that contracts with farmers to grow conventional
soybeans. DuPont, the Wilmington, Del., chemical
company, used conventional breeding techniques to
develop soybean plants able to tolerate exposure to one
of its herbicides.
In New York Stock Exchange composite trading
Wednesday, ADM rose 12.5 cents to close at $13.125 a
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: