Genetically modified foods have long been the source of controversy, but a study by University of Caen released in Food & Chemical Toxicology may have the world of GMO foods and seeds up in arms. The catalyst is a study showing that lab animals eating GMO foods developed more tumors and other diseases compared to those that did not. If you just look at the news it sounds very damning, but if you just watch the lack of dollar-loss reaction it is obviously a far more complicated situation.
Companies like Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) have hung in the balance of this argument for years and years. While the story is an obvious negative, there have been many studies at opposite ends of the spectrum surrounding the GMO issue. Europe has been more aggressive against the use of GMO foods historically, but that has in some cases loosened up.
The WSJ reported that France was considering a European Union ban of GMO corn made by Monsanto if the study is confirmed. Another concern exists around the weed killing Roundup, although this too has been a very debated issue for years.
This development is still too fresh on the new round of news, but a $91.39 it is wort noting that Monsanto shares are within about 0.5% of their 52-week high as the 52-week trading range is $58.89 to $91.75.
It is worth noting that while DuPont (NYSE: DD) was not the apparent target in this particular case, DuPont has been a proponent on the side of GMO for some time with its seed growth. DuPont shares are still within about 4% of their 52-week high as well as the $51.75 share price compares to a 52-week range of $37.10 to $53.98.
This is a story which is just far too soon to call. The outcome may be weeks or even much longer into the future.
JON C. OGG