Farmers continue to show commitment and support for plant biotechnology in Canada and around the world



    CropLife Canada releases two new independent studies on the commercial
    success of biotech soybeans and corn in Canada

    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - Today's farmers are reaping the benefits as the
global acreage of biotech crops continue to rise exponentially. According to
the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications
(ISAAA), global biotech crop acres have reached 282.4 million acres in
23 countries in 2007, an increase of 12 percent from 2006.
    Domestic acceptance of biotech crops has also continued to rise, with the
biotech crop acreage in Canada increasing in 2007 to over 17 million acres
from 15 in 2006 (ISAAA). The majority of this increase can be attributed to
three main crops - soybeans, corn and canola. CropLife Canada released two new
reports outlining the successful introduction of GM corn and soybean into the
Canadian marketplace showing that GM soy and corn varieties now each command
approximately 65 percent of the total acres grown.
    "The reasons are clear. For farmers, biotech crops provide increased
yields, improved disease and insect resistance, and more efficient
production," states Dr. Lorne Hepworth, President of CropLife Canada. "In
addition to increased productivity per acre, biotech crops allow for reduced
tillage preventing soil erosion and moisture loss while reducing greenhouse
gas emmisons."
    The two new reports, Soybean Crops in Canada: A report on the successful
introduction of GM Soybean into the Canadian marketplace and Corn Crops in
Canada: A report on the successful introduction of GM Corn into the Canadian
marketplace and the continued co-production of GM and non-GM corn hybrids,
were produced by Andy McCormick, Answers 4 Business and Joe Colyn, Originz LLC
after conducting interviews of stakeholders ranging from technology
developers, seed growers and distributors, producers, grain handlers and
shippers, to end-processors.
    "In 2007, farmers planted over 1.35 million acres of glyphosate tolerant
soybeans representing approximately 65 percent of the market share," says Dale
Petrie, General Manager of the Ontario Soybean Growers, an organization
representing soybean growers in Ontario. "The main reason behind this rate of
adoption is the ease of production in weed control, no-till farming, and
reduced fuel costs."
    GM corn varieites have also increased to over 65 percent of the market
share. Dale Mountjoy, President of the Ontario Corn Producers' Association,
attributes this growth in biotech corn acres mainly to improved insect
resitance. "Eastern Corn Borer is a significant pest of corn in Canada," said
Mountjoy. "Since the introduction of Bt corn varieties, producers have been
able to effectively manage this pest without the use of insecticides, which
has helped to increase corn yields and led to the increase in farmer adoption.
As new opportunities for animal feed and biofuel arise, we expect biotech corn
acres will continue to increase."
    Several smaller biotech crops are also being grown in Canada, including
sugar beets for bio-fuel production. P.E.I. farmers are planing to grow
1,400 hectares of GM sugar beets in 2008, and expect that number to double in
2009.
    "By supporting the use of GM crops in Canada, we are clearing the way to
ensure Canadian farmers are on the leading edge of agricultural innovation to
meet the evolving needs of farmers and consumers at large," said Hepworth.

    Executive summaries of the Soybean Crops in Canada: A report on the
successful introduction of GM Soybean into the Canadian marketplace and Corn
Crops in Canada: A report on the successful introduction of GM Corn into the
Canadian marketplace and the continued co-production of GM and non-GM corn
hybrids are attached as background information. For more information on this
news release or these two reports, please contact:


    
    Background

    CropLife Canada                                           www.croplife.ca

    CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers,
developers and distributors of plant science innovations - pest control
products and plant biotechnology - for use in agriculture, urban and public
health settings.

    Ontario Soybean Growers (OSG)                           www.soybean.on.ca

    Established in 1949, the Ontario Soybean Growers (OSG) represents
25,000 growers in Ontario Canada. With a vision of an innovative and
profitable soybean industry OSG's mission is to develop and promote a sound
industry business environment that will allow Ontario soybean producers the
opportunity for viable and profitable ongoing returns. Operating under the
Farm Products Marketing Act, Board operations are financed by a producer levy
of $1.10 per tonne of each tonne of soybeans marketed in Ontario. Growers are
represented by 15 directors that come from 13 districts across Ontario. The
OSG office is located in Guelph.

    Ontario Corn Producers' Association (OCPA) www.ontariocorn.org/index.html

    The Ontario Corn Producers' Association (OCPA), founded in 1983, is a
non-profit association representing approximately 21,000 Ontario corn
producers. The association is funded by a refundable check-off on commercial
grain corn sales. Activities of the organization are directed by a 16-person
board of directors elected annually. Each director operates a farm operation
across Ontario and must produce corn to be eligible to be elected as a
director.

    Answers 4 Business                               www.answers4business.com

    Answers 4 Business is a consulting firm specializing in collaborative
business solutions. Based out of Richmond Hill, Ontario, the firm is a
reliable provider of valuable thought and knowledge-based supply chain
solutions for clients. They are experts at business process transformation and
change management within organizations.

    Originz LLC                                               www.originz.net

    Originz, LLC is a professional service provider delivering "Strategies for
Future Food Systems and a Healthier World". The firm specializes in strategic
planning, business and technology development, and project management across
the food and agriculture sector. Originz clients include Fortune 500
companies, entrepreneurs in need of technical expertise, non-profits, and
industry associations across North America interested in delivering good food
from a vibrant agriculture.

    GM and non-GM Soybean in the Canadian Marketplace

    Executive Summary
    -----------------
    A decade since the introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) soybeans, the
adoption of herbicide tolerant (HT) soybean for the commodity soybean oil
crush market has become standard practice. The GM soybean market share
continues to increase as growers realize production benefits in weed control
and better land stewardship through the easier adoption of no-till planting.
HT soy has been adopted by over 80 percent of farmers growing for the domestic
crush market sector and has allowed the Canadian commodity soybean production
base to compete effectively with HT soybeans from the USA and HT canola from
western Canada in supplying the local crush markets.
    Along with the commodity bean market, a vibrant food grade soybean
production base has existed for more than 30 years in Canada, particularly
south-western Ontario and Northern Tier soybean growing areas. Export markets
for food grade soybeans have not accepted GM soybeans and as a result the
soybean sector adapted and strengthened its Identity Preservation (IP)
contracting and production practices to comply. Today GM and non-GM soybeans
co-exist to satisfy these divergent markets and domestic crush needs.

    Overview
    --------
    The ten-year experience with GM and non-GM soybeans in Canada has been a
success largely because:

    -   Canada continues to maintain an Identity Preserved (IP) non-GM soy
        market due in part to contract production and IP programs such as
        CIPRS (Canadian Identity Preserved Recognition System.
    -   Growers have readily adopted GM soybeans due to the ease of
        production and increased return per hectare
    -   North America does not require separation of GM and non-GM soybean
        varieties, therefore handlers can leverage their flexible grain
        handling capacity and good operating practices
    -   Technology developers continue to invest in new innovations,
        especially in the area of new value-added markets in the areas of
        bio-fuels and nutritional related traits
    -   Seed companies benefit from annual sales and reinvest in breeding new
        varieties

    GM and non-GM Corn in the Canadian Marketplace

    Executive Summary
    -----------------
    In the 10 years since Genetically Modified (GM) corn has been available,
it has grown to command 66% of the seed market. Much of its successful
acceptance in the market can be attributed to increases in yields and improved
insect resistance. The lack of major export markets requiring the segregation
of GM and non-GM markets also played a factor as producers and handlers are
able to manage all varieties in a single production and handling system, with
the exception of a small European export market, which has been managed
through the Market Choices program.

    Overview
    --------
    The introduction of GM corn into Canada has been successful mainly due to:

    -   Yield increases that now exceed 33% of 1997 levels attract grower
        participation.
    -   The steady and strong uptake on the part of growers has supported
        continued research and development in new traits and combinations of
        traits by the technology providers and seed companies.
    -   Cooperation by all points along the value chain in developing
        programs such as Market Choices and elevator Good Operating Practices
        to ensure channeling is properly managed.
    -   Improved farm management opportunities that herbicide tolerant (HT)
        and insect resistant (IR) traits provide for the grower.
    





For further information:

For further information: Janice Tranberg, Director, Plant Biotechnology,
Stewardship & Regulatory Affairs, CropLife Canada, Email:
tranbergj@croplife.ca, Tel: (306) 373-4052; Kristina Fixter, Director,
Communications & Member Services, CropLife Canada, Email: fixterk@croplife.ca,
Tel: (416) 622-9771

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CropLife Canada

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