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Business of buying department

Supply management "I don't believe we can simply plant fencerow to fencerow, dump that product on the world market and hope that we get a price."

Eugene Paul, new National Farmers Organization president, in a speech at the group's recent annual convention, addressing the need to adopt supply management programs worldwide to solve global price issues

Garst adds Gutwein To gain access to a large group of farmer sales reps in the eastern Corn Belt, Garst Seed Company recently reached an agreement to buy the retail marketing and distribution network and the seed brand of Indiana-based Gutwein Seeds. For the 2000-2001 sales year, Garst products will be introduced into the Gutwein sales program. Gutwein's current management will continue to run the business along with its new parent.

North American seed merger Two leading European seed companies, Limagrain and KWS, have agreed to merge their corn-breeding operations in North America, adding a new member to the top five corn-breeding programs. Current combined total sales of this Indianapolis-based company are approximately $80 million.

Separate joint ventures will be established in the U.S. and Canada for sales and production activities in corn, soybeans and alfalfa. The U.S. businesses being contributed to the venture are currently operated by Limagrain Genetics Corp. and Great Lakes Hybrids. Each of the brands Agrigold, Great Lakes, LG-Calahan and Pride will continue to be marketed through its current organization and distribution system.

BIObits Frito-Lay just informed its hundreds of contract corn growers to grow non-genetically modified corn for 2000, in case U.S. consumers shun bioengineered products. The PepsiCo-owned maker of Doritos and Tostitos corn chips, which used 1.2 billion lbs. of corn last year, says it has no immediate plans to promote its products as free of biotech ingredients. "The bottom line is we're stepping back and seeing what happens," says spokesperson Lynn Markley. - Bloomberg News

The FDA has a new Web site to better engage the public with information on food biotechnology. Punch up and click on Bioengineered Foods.

Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman recently created a 38-person USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology to provide advice on policy related to the creation, application, marketability, trade and use of this technology. This impressively diverse group consists of university agricultural researchers and professors, commercial and organic farmers, livestock producers, biotech company representatives, think-tank advisors, environmentalists, consumer group leaders, food and grain processors, international researchers, doctors and lawyers.

In one University of Maine study conducted by agronomist John Jemison and biochemist Michael Vayda, pollen drift from genetically modified (GM) corn into non-GM corn resulted in minor contamination from cross pollination. Given a 100-ft. gap between the two corn types, the first six rows of non-GM corn (downwind from GM corn) revealed 1% cross pollination from the GM corn. The next six rows contained 0.1%, and the last six rows contained only 0.03%. No cross pollination was found in corn 1,000 ft. away, a common buffer distance. - Institute of Food Technologists

In a Chicago Tribune story of January 27, 2000, ADM CEO Allen Andreas was asked if there were any circumstances in which ADM would refuse to buy a genetically modified crop this fall. He replied, "No. We do not have any reason to believe that will be the case. Less than five percent of our sales are to customers who ask whether [the crops] are genetically modified or not."

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