Farmer Reveals Location Of
Secret Monsanto GM Wheat Fields

By Michelle Lang Saskatchewan
News Network Regina Leader-Post

REGINA - A Saskatchewan farmer is going public with the locations of two secret sites where researchers are growing and testing genetically modified (GM) wheat for the biotech company Monsanto.
Marc Loiselle says there are test plots of GM wheat at Agriculture Canada's Scott Research Farm, located in west-central Saskatchewan, and at Ag-Quest, a private company located just outside of Saskatoon.
Monsanto confirmed Friday that Agriculture Canada and Ag-Quest are conducting research trials on its GM wheat. Before Loiselle's revelation, the exact location of Monsanto's many GM wheat plots was a closely guarded secret in Canada. Even the Saskatchewan government didn't know exactly where the plots were located in the province.
In Europe, activists protesting biotechnology have destroyed GM research crops in recent years.
"Our No. 1 priority is to protect the integrity of research and the researchers," said Monsanto spokesperson Trish Jordan. "It is just a good responsible practice to follow certain protocols and one of those is not revealing the locations of these trials."
Loiselle, an organic farmer from Vonda, learned the locations from an agronomic committee that he sits on. He believes the public has a right to know where the test sites are, so he wrote letters to the rural municipalities near the sites. He also presented the information in speeches, in a newsletter regarding organic production and to the media. "We don't need genetically engineered wheat for any number of reasons," he said. "Producers will tell you they do not want more Roundup Ready products. Two-thirds of the Canadian Wheat Board customers do not want (GM wheat)." Loiselle also argues GM wheat could ruin the organic wheat market. He is one of several farmers who launched a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent the commercial introduction of GM wheat into Saskatchewan.
Officials with the Scott Research Farm have some concern about the security of the research trials, referring to the destruction of the research plots in Europe. But Dr. David Wall said the publication of the sites will not stop the research. He said farm officials will monitor the sites.
There are 33 Western Canadian sites where Monsanto is testing GM wheat this year. Monsanto and its partners, like Ag-Quest, place strict controls on GM wheat research, Jordan said.


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