Press Release: Farmers vs. GE Wheat Coming to St. Louis




Gateway Green Alliance

P.O. Box 8094, St. Louis MO 63156

For immediate release: May 1, 2003

Concern with GM Hits Monsanto’s Home Town


May 1, 2003. St. Louis, Missouri. Farmers, scientists, environmentalists

and civil rights activists will gather in St. Louis immediately prior to the

World Agricultural Forum (WAF) to hear concerns with genetic engineering.

The three day gathering in opposition to biotechnology will culminate with a

protest at the WAF.

There is widespread opposition in the northern US and Canada to the

introduction of Roundup Ready wheat, a genetically modified (GM) crop

Monsanto hopes to market. Farmers are concerned that global opposition will

prevent them from selling GM wheat on the international market. Candidates

for pubic office are campaigning on opposition to the introduction of GM


“Millers would have to assume segregation of the types of wheat, which would

be almost impossible,” observes George Naylor, President of the National

Family Farm Coalition. Naylor, an Iowa farmer who will be at the St. Louis

protest, says “Just like soybeans, conventional and the Roundup Ready wheat

varieties look identical and cross contamination could happen on the farm or

anywhere seeds are processed or stored. It’s clear that most of the soybean

supply is contaminated with genetically modified seeds. Only thorough

testing of a particular batch could determine the extent of contamination for

that batch — not good news for consumers or farmers like myself not wanting

to use genetically modified crops.”

Naylor will speak in St. Louis this May 16 – 18 at the 7th International

Gathering on Biodevastation. The theme of the event is “Genetic

Engineering: A Technology of Corporate Control.” Subtitled “A Forum on

Environmental Racism, Biowarfare and Environmental Racism,” the three day

gathering is hosted by the Gateway Green Alliance, which has addressed issues

of toxins in St. Louis since 1990.

The opening panel of Biodevastation is “The International Threat to Farms and

Farmers.” It will highlight the destructive impact of corporate policies,

including those of Monsanto, on farms and farmers throughout North America

and the world. The panel will include:

* Percy Schmeiser, the Canadian farmer who was sued by Monsanto for the

“crime” of having his canola crop contaminated by the company’s genetically

engineered product. Schmeiser is pursuing the case, and has appealed to the

Canadian Supreme Court.

* Felder Freeman, an agricultural specialist working in the South Carolina

office of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, which works to help

African-American farmers stay on their land by forming agricultural

cooperatives and has developed an interest in organic agriculture.

* Lawrence Tsimese of the Agricultural Reform Movement in Ghana, who will

speak on the growing resistance to genetically modified crops by African


* George Naylor, who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Monsanto and other

biotech companies dealing with the negative economic impacts of genetically

modified crops on family farmers.

Other Biodevastation panels will cover “Environmental Racism,” “Biowarfare ,”

“Globalization, Food Imperialism & War” and “Crop Contamination & the Future

of Indigenous Agriculture.”