Monsanto files final regulatory papers fro bioengineered wheat

by Emily Buckley
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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S. — Monsanto Co. has made final regulatory submissions to government agencies in the United States and Canada seeking affirmation that the company’s biotechnology-derived wheat is safe. (See related Editorial, page 8.)

The filings represent the latest step in a lengthy process that Monsanto hopes will end with the commercial introduction of bioengineered wheat. While the government filings are not legally mandatory, Monsanto consistently has said it will take all appropriate steps necessary to give the market confidence that its bioengineered wheat is safe and that a grain marketing system capable of keeping bioengineered and conventionally-bread wheat separate will develop.

In Canada, Monsanto submitted the application to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The application review is expected to take longer than a year.

Regulators will evaluate the wheat from a number of perspectives, including the evaluation of how easily it spreads, whether it may out-compete native species, whether it sufficiently resists or could spread plant diseases, and if it will adversely affect any animal species.