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GM canola threatens wheat export, says Australian Wheat Board

(Thursday, July 31, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 07/30/03 via AgNet: Australia's monopoly wheat exporter says it risks losing markets through commercial production of genetically modified canola.

AWB Limited is concerned the supply chain can't guarantee segregation, and the accidental presence of GM canola seed in its wheat shipments could jeopardise markets.

Head of grain technology Karl Divers says the industry needs to address supply chain issues before farmers begin growing GM canola.

He says a third of the company's customers already require certification on the GM-free status of their grain.

"We would no longer be able to give them that certification, that to me is a fairly significant risk for a $4 billion - $5 billion industry. We have some concerns that the supply chain isn't able to meet our market demand to deliver wheat without adventitious contamination from GM material and specifically GM canola."