Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development
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Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.
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Chapter 46: Wheat: status, outlook and implications

William W. Wilson


Wheat is one of the next crops to be commercialized with genetically modified (GM) traits. Development of GM wheat is important for a number of reasons (see Wilson et al., 2003 for a comprehensive discussion of the issues related to GM wheat). First, wheat will be one of the first food grains in which GM traits are introduced and will likely be a precursor to similar developments in other food grains. Second, wheat is traded among many importing and exporting countries, many of which have very different mechanisms for regulating trade in GM crops and for marketing products with GM ingredients. Third, there is no doubt that there will be highly differentiated demand for products produced with or without GM ingredients and/or requirements to provide information to consumers among these countries. There are numerous reasons for the recent increased investment in wheat technology. One is that wheat has been losing competitiveness to many other crops, due in part to the more rapid adoption of GM technology in corn, soybeans and canola. Second, wheat is a very large acreage crop worldwide and, as a result, some economies of trait development can be achieved. Third, expanded development has been encouraged by a political process in the United States.

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