[NAFEX] Genetically Modified vs Genetically Altered (Mutagenesis)

John Barbowski jbarbowski at gmail.com
Thu Dec 29 13:05:34 EST 2005

Move over Monsanto, here comes BASF!

Monsanto and its GM herbicide tolerant wheat got international bad press and
fundamentally was driven out of Canada in 2004. There were fears of "human
health hazards, increase weed resistance and corporate control over crops".

Germany's BASF, through mutagenesis has developed CDC Imagine, a herbicide
tolerant wheat that is making large inroads into Canada's prairie
provinces. "It keeps growing when sprayed with herbicides that normally make
wheat shrivel up and die."

Mutagenesis entails "blasting cells or seed with radiation, or bathing them
in chemicals to cause mutations in a plants existing genes".

BASF bathed seeds in a chemical that induced genetic changes. They then grew
the seed and sprayed the plants with a herbicide (dazolinone based, also
produced by BASF). The surviving plants have the desired mutation.

"Even more remarkable, this high-tech wheat has avoided the wrath of
farmers, environmentalists, and consumers who drove Monsanto's wheat out of

This is from an article in The National Post by Margaret Munro, Dec 29,

Somehow, I fail appreciated the difference!

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