Monsanto to promote GM soybeans in Japan


Monsanto Co, the world's leading producer of genetically modified seeds, hopes that value-added soybeans - now in its research pipeline - will help underscore the benefits of GM foods among Japanese consumers and soften their resistance to such food.

"Knowing how important soybeans are in the Japanese diet, I see real opportunity in GM soybeans for Japanese consumers," said Kim Magin Sutter, Monsanto's Director of Global Oilseed Industry Affairs.

Soybeans with enhanced health advantages are currently under development at a Monsanto lab in St Louis, Missouri.

The company's researchers are trying to create soybeans containing omega-3 fatty acids and less than half the proportion of saturated fatty acids, Sutter noted. These re-engineered soybeans are expected to be more effective than naturally grown soybeans in cutting neutral lipid and bad cholesterol in the blood.

Sutter, who visited Japan to meet industry stakeholders, believes there is only a limited potential market for the firm's core seed lineup, because corn, soybeans, and cotton are mostly imported and not grown on a large scale in Japan.

If Japanese farmers are prepared to grow GM soybeans, "We would absolutely evaluate that opportunity," Sutter said.

Sutter pointed out that promoting an understanding about the benefits of genetic recombination is one of the important aspects in raising consumer acceptance.

The Japanese government has approved the safety of GM corn, soybeans and five other crops, but a government survey carried out last year revealed that 71% of respondents said they felt concerned about GM crops. As long as consumers are against re-engineered crops, Japanese food producers are unwilling to use them on a large scale.

Meanwhile, Sutter dismissed the argument that a few global agricultural majors are trying to control the world's seed market by dominating patents on GM technology.

It is up to the farmers to decide which seeds to plant on their farms, Sutter stressed. "They are going to pick what brings them the most yields."


©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Monsanto's stated goal is, "We want to control the world's food supply!" Frankenfoods Inc.

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“They are going to pick what brings them the most yields.”

Not quite right. They are going to pick what brings them the most profit. It's no good having a field full of high-yield frankenfood if no one wants to buy it.

I'm all in favour of Monsanto et al promoting their products. Hopefully they'll be insisting on nice big labels with the Monsanto logo clearly visible. What I'm against is them insisting 'it's just the same' and trying to sneak their cheap stuff in unlabeled, mixed in with conventional food and at the same price.

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Monsanto will attempt to do in and to Japan what they've been doing so many other places they force their way into. The question is... how willing, how quiet, will Japanese people remain? We all know that the current Japanese government -- essentially the same part in power since WWII -- are nothing but lackeys to the corporate, monied interests like Monsanto. People in Japan are so concerned about contaminated foods from China, but to me this is infinitely more important. To stop if at all possible.

Problem is, if Monsanto's GM seeds are used even on a small scale, just ask farmers in Canada who've been fighting them for years... the wind will blow the seeds into areas supposedly organic, and Monsanto will be right there to either sue or claim de facto dominance. The farmers' only recourse has been to sue back. And any talk of "benefits" of GM foods is a ruse, full of mistruths, and extremely debatable. When companies are allowed to patent lifeforms, such as seeds, all for profit, as Monsanto has so very aggressively championed worldwide, then something's outa whack.

Check it out...

The World According to Monsanto [Le Monde selon Monsanto] 2008, 108 min On March 11, 2008 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE - French-German cultural TV channel) by French journalist and filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see. The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years. Info:

also... The Monsanto Story: Part 1 - 22 min - May 25, 2007

GM Crops 2006 Factsheet Friends of the Earth International, January 2006


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Mansanto is evil. Pure and simple. They promote the destruction of self-sufficency in agriculture and all but guarantee that farmers that use their product once will never be able to revert back to normal seed again. Their products are genetically engineered to not produce viable seeds for future crops, thus ensuring farmers who bought their product once HAVE to buy the viable seeds again and again, in perpetuity. It's insidious and NO company should have that much control over any food supply.

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Scary stuff...

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How many ways can you say "genetically modified"? GM, "genetic recombination," "value-added," and "re-engineered."

Just a quick question to LFRAgain, nadakandamanda, and escape artist. Since I know nothing about genetically modified foods, what are the bad points about it?

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One of the largest criticisms of GM foods is that cross-pollenation can occur between plants genetically modified to be effectively sterile with fertile non-GM plants, thus rendering the normal plants sterile as well. This cross-pollenation can and has happened in corn and rice crops in North America where GM seed was used near fields planted with normal seed. In essence, Monsanto is breeding out the self-sustaining nature of seeds themselves, either by design or neglect. It's the neglect part that's worrisome. How do you stop pollen from flying into the next field? Monsanto doesn't seem to care.

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GM plants are modified so weed killer does not kill them, this allows the farmer to spray weed killer directly on the plants he will harvest and sell as food. Great for the farmer saves him lots of time but what about the consumer who eats the sprayed plants? This benifit is also short lived as cross pollenation is producing super weeds so this means more gentic modification, stronger weed killers and more profits for the chemical company.

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I agree with escape_artist. A company with such a dubious history cannot be trusted.

The documentary mentioned is also on youtube here:

Someone should get this translated into Japanese.

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