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News 1043 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Monsanto says biotech wheat moves closer to market

Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, is just ‘a few years away’ from bringing its herbicide-tolerant wheat to the market, according to Reuters.

The company said the herbicide-tolerant wheat performed well enough in field testing to move from the "proof of concept" phase to early development work.

Monsanto is already a leading developer of biotech corn, soybeans and other crops and the company has long tried to bring to market a wheat genetically altered to tolerate spraying of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide.

Biotech wheat is not commercially available despite several companies having researched it for a number of years. Monsanto's product will be the world's first biotech wheat. However, Monsanto expects another few years before the product can actually reach the market.

But there is also controversy. South Korea and Japan immediately temporarily halted purchases of US wheat after the announcement of its new biotech wheat plans, due to fears the unapproved biotech wheat might have contaminated US wheat supplies.

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