Science in Society Archive

New Study Indicates That Canadian Farmers Are Highly Critical Of Genetically Modified Wheat, As Controversy Over This Crop Reignites

A new study on Canadian farmer perceptions toward genetically modified (GM) wheat - specifically Roundup Ready wheat (RRW)- has just been published in the international peer reviewed journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research. This scientific paper is being released just as the controversy over growing GM wheat is re-igniting. Unlike a recent industry-sponsored study conducted in the US, it shows that Canadian farmers are categorically opposed to RRW.

"Although GM wheat was initially abandoned in 2004, industry groups and their partners are now seeking its reintroduction, and our study on Canadian farmer attitudes toward Roundup Ready wheat is once again very timely", says Dr. Ian Mauro, the lead author of the paper written with Drs. Stéphane McLachlan and Rene Van Acker. Mauro, McLachlan and Van Acker are internationally recognized experts on GM crops and their socio-economic and environmental impacts.

This research is the first of its kind to include farmer knowledge in the a priori risk analysis of GM crops and, arguably, is the largest scale, independent-farmer-focused study on GM crops ever conducted. The study, which was initiated in 2004, evaluates farmer attitudes towards the benefits and risks of RRW using both quantitative and qualitative methods. It included responses from 1566 farmers across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and includes organic, conventional, and no-till farmers.

"In total, 83% of Canadian farmers disagreed that Roundup Ready wheat should have unconfined release into the environment", says McLachlan, adding that "although many respondents themselves used GM canola, the great majority felt that risks associated with RRW far outweighed any benefits".

Overall, farmers ranked the risks of market loss, corporate control of the food supply, agronomic impact and contamination of non-GM crops much higher than any anticipated production benefits.

"The farmers surveyed were also very critical of government and industry attempts to commercialize RRW and felt that their important knowledge was missing from the debate", says Mauro. He concluded by saying, "Farmer experiences and concerns should play an important role in shaping any future decision-making regarding this controversial crop".

The study is one of few that is located in farmer experiences and that is independent and publicly funded. It should have a substantial impact on the ongoing controversy surrounding GM wheat, and will certainly be of interest to farm organizations, other researchers, industry, and policymakers around the world. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Manitoba Rural Adaptations Council (MRAC) supported this research.

If you require more information, a copy of the paper or an interview, please contact Ian Mauro directly: and 204-979-4958

The peer-reviewed study is available for download from the "online first" section of the journal's website:

Article first published 25/06/09

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There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment above.

Prince Pieray C. P Odor Comment left 27th June 2009 01:01:27
Dr. Ho, Thank you very much for this mail and for all your very great efforts and trouble. I know that the cat would be let out of the bag regarding the whole lies of G.M. Foods producers and their satanism. My fear and worry subsist in how much harm they would have done, in terms of the depth, length, width, height and time dimensions of the harm, its irreversibility. ALL GOVERNMENTS, ESPECIALLY THE GLOBALIST AND TERRIBLE USA GOVERNMENT, SHOULD ACT INTELLIGENTLY BY BANNING THE PRODUCTION OF GMOs and GMFs IMMEDIATELY. Prince Pieray Awele Odor L

Todd Millions Comment left 27th June 2009 01:01:09
So what? I happen to know from the most first hand experince, what a 3rd world shithole Canada is. Its mafia's are fronted by a westminister modelled whorocracy-that can give the blighty original a run for its money on protecting mass posioners,massmurdering - christian warcrimminals and child molesters.If you doubt this -contact me for a partial list of particulars. So the socialogists find most farmers opposed.So what? At this moment the glyphosate resistent gm alfalfa-that a US judge(finally) had the wit AND integrity to ban the field trials of- IS being open air tested in the french infested shit hole of Manitoba. Is polling going to control the pollen? Have any of the federal ag-tox canada crats or ministers posted open ended bonds for damages? under Nafta is anyone liable? NOT! Hitler was elected-and I can assure you he took the elections much more seriously than any of the puppet masters that pay for canadian ones.Same for our ermined weasel court system.