- It is an ill wind, as they say. For the BSE crisis sweeping
through Europe is transforming the hitherto gloomy prospects for Monsanto,
the controversial GM giant.
- The Europe-wide ban on feeding meat-and-bone meal to
animals is leading to a huge increase in imported GM soya to take its place.
The beleaguered company's share price is soaring, and analysts who once
shunned its stock are advising investors to buy.
- The ban on feeding animals to each other, imposed at
the beginning of this year, has left farmers across Europe scrambling to
find alternatives. Fish meal is also banned for cattle and other ruminants,
because of fears that it may be contaminated by meat-and-bone meal. This
leaves soya, and imports of the beans are expected to jump by about 3.5
million tons this year.
- Virtually all of this will be genetically modified, says
the UK Agricultural Trade Supply Association, because almost all unmodified
soya has been bought up to meet demand following campaigns by environmental
- Prices of GM soya have jumped, and the future of Monsanto
has been transformed. Its share price, which fell during the past two years
when the stock market was booming, has leapt by 50 per cent over the past
- Eight of the ten leading analysts of its stock are advising
investors to buy. The most bullish include Deutsche Bank, which 18 months
ago advised selling, saying that GMO stock would be "perceived as
a pariah" and that GM soya could become an "earnings nightmare"
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