MGEX board adopts rule on potential GM deliveraries

by Emily Buckley
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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — The Minneapolis Grain Exchange will allow takers of spring wheat futures deliveries to specify non-genetically modified wheat in fulfillment of delivery obligations effective with the July 2004 hard red spring wheat futures contract.

"Although genetically modified, or transgenic, wheat varieties are not currently on the market, we believe we must take a proactive stance on this issue," said Kent Horsager, MGEX president and chief executive officer. "This rule is not intended to eliminate deliveries of genetically modified spring wheat. It just gives the taker of delivery the right to choose."

Ray Lottie, chairman of the MGEX board of directors and manager of cereal and eastern grain operations for General Mills, said the exchange decided to address the potential for delivery of GM wheat before it became a factor in the spring wheat cash markets.

"This is a highly political and emotional issue for the wheat industry, and we did not want to wait for a dispute to arise before acting," Lottie said. "We have an obligation to preserve the orderly nature of our spring wheat futures delivery process.

"This rule will allow takers of delivery to make their own judgments on the market acceptance of genetically modified wheat. Market acceptance is key to genetically modified wheat reaching its full potential for improving the lives of people around the world."