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Plant scientists question Monsanto’s findings about escaped wheat variety | South China Morning Post


Several plant scientists have questioned conclusions US seeds giant Monsanto drew from its investigation of an escaped gene-altered wheat variety and said there is still a risk that rogue grain is in the seed supply.

In its first detailed response to the announcement that a genetically modified wheat not approved for use was found growing in an American farmer’s field, Monsanto said that it tested 31,200 seed samples in the US states of Oregon, where the wheat was found, and Washington and found no contamination.

That’s not enough to convince some researchers that this genetic modification, not cleared for commercial sale, won’t be found in some wheat seeds.

“We don’t know where in the whole chain it is,” said Carol Mallory-Smith, the weed science professor at Oregon State University who tested the initial wheat plants. “I don’t know how Monsanto can declare anything. We had these plants in the field.”

The US Department of Agriculture is investigating how the wheat showed up eight years after the company ended field tests. It was found growing on about 1 per cent of the farmer’s 51-hectare field, and he submitted it to Oregon State for testing after an Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide didn’t kill it.

Monsanto’s tests show the genetically modified variety isn’t present in the types of seeds planted on the Oregon farm or in wheat seed common in the region, Monsanto chief technology officer Robb Fraley said.

In previous cases, such as during the outbreak of herbicide-resistant weeds in recent years, Monsanto has played down the risks, said Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is critical of Monsanto’s genetically modified research.

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via Plant scientists question Monsanto’s findings about escaped wheat variety | South China Morning Post.

Monsanto is a Ticking Time Bomb for U.S. Agriculture: Japan halts Imports of U.S. Wheat after USDA’s Finding of Genetic Pollution from GMOs


It has already begun: Japan has just cancelled a large contract to purchase U.S. wheat. “We will refrain from buying western white and feed wheat effective today,” Toru Hisadome, a Japanese farm ministry official in charge of wheat trading, told Reuters.

As many readers well know, I predicted precisely this scenario just yesterday in a Natural News article warning about the consequences of genetic pollution. There, I wrote, “All wheat produced in the United States will now be heavily scrutinized — and possibly even rejected — by other nations that traditionally import U.S. wheat. This obviously has enormous economic implications for U.S. farmers and agriculture.”

Now we’re already seeing the result: the ditching of U.S. wheat by world nations that want nothing to do with GMOs.

Monsanto is a ticking time bomb for U.S. agriculture

This proves, without any question, that Monsanto’s genetic experiments which “escaped” into commercial wheat fields are now going to devastate U.S. wheat farmers. Expect the floor to drop out on wheat prices, and watch for a huge backlash against the USDA by U.S. farmers who stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars on this.

As the USDA has now admitted, Monsanto’s GMO experiments from 1998 – 2005 were held in open wheat fields. The genetically engineered wheat escaped and found its way into commercial wheat fields in Oregon (and possibly 15 other states), causing self-replicating genetic pollution that now taints the entire U.S. wheat industry.

“Asian consumers are keenly sensitive to gene-altered food, with few countries allowing imports of such cereals for human consumption,” writes Reuters. It continues:

Asia imports more than 40 million tonnes of wheat annually, almost a third of the global trade of 140-150 million tonnes. The bulk of the region’s supplies come from the United States, the world’s biggest exporter, and Australia, the No. 2 supplier.  Another incredible Monsanto achievement: the genetic contamination of the U.S. wheat supply

Nice job, Monsanto. You’ve managed to spew your genetic pollution across the fields of innocent U.S. farmers who are now going to lose huge sums of money due to the reject of U.S. wheat by all the other world nations that refuse to feed their populations GMO.

And a big thumbs up to the USDA, too, for screwing U.S. farmers by green-lighting open-field GMO experiments that we all warned were going to result in runaway genetic pollution. The USDA, of course, is the official cheerleading squad for Monsanto’s criminal “science” that we all know is a total fraud. How do these scientists now suggest this self-replicating genetic pollution be put back into the black box from which it emerged?

It can’t be done, of course. So now the entire future of the U.S. wheat supply is at risk thanks to Monsanto and the USDA. Nice one, folks. Score another victory for the scumbag destroyers in Washington D.C. and the greed-driven executives at our favorite corporation, Monsanto.

And remember: Genetically modified wheat is only the beginning. Monsanto has no doubt unleashed genetic pollution across many other crops as well. We’re now living in an age where Monsanto is essentially ejaculating its patented seed across all the farms of America, then claiming to “own” the contaminated crops. What a wonderful image of corporate responsibility and service to humankind. I can’t wait to see what other U.S. crops will be rejected by world nations due to Monsanto’s genetic pollution.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/30/us-wheat-asia-idUSL3N0EB1JC…

via Monsanto is a Ticking Time Bomb for U.S. Agriculture: Japan halts Imports of U.S. Wheat after USDA’s Finding of Genetic Pollution from GMOs | Global Research.

Genetically Modified Wheat Isn’t Supposed to Exist. So What Is It Doing in Oregon?


Wheat farmers, advocates of food safety, and pretty much anyone who eats bread or noodles have turned their attention to Oregon, where a wheat farmer found a genetically engineered strain of wheat in his otherwise unmodified crop. He couldn’t kill it in any of the normal ways, so he sent it to the lab for testing, which sounds like the set-up for a farm-belt horror movie. The reality has caused alarm of a different sort: Genetically modified wheat hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and unlike corn and soy and other so-called GMO foods, there isn’t supposed to be any genetically modified wheat in the U.S. food supply at all.

There are two reasons to care. Food safety folks lobby hard for labeling of genetically modified foods, saying that the jury is out on the long-term health and environmental effects and consumers deserve to know what they’re buying. The companies that make the seeds say they’re perfectly safe. And for wheat farmers and exporters, this potentially cripples the export market: Many foreign buyers don’t want genetically modified wheat and can switch their buying to Russia, Ukraine, Australia, and other large exporters. Japan reacted quickly, canceling an order today for nearly 25,000 tons of wheat, Bloomberg News reported, and wheat futures dropped on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which is responsible for keeping unapproved GMOs out of the food supply, has begun testing the wheat. In a full-court PR press, the agency has also released a Q&A (PDF) and video to address the issue. Here are a few points to consider:

It’s probably too late to do much about this.

The U.S. has some 1,000 field trials for new gene-altered crops each year, most in multiple sites. The protocols for containing those genes are lax, argue such critics as the Center for Food Safety, which wants a moratorium on field testing of gene-altered crops. ”I would not be at all surprised if there are a number of experimental genes that have contaminated and are happily being passed along at low levels in the food supplies of various crops already, but nobody’s testing,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. “It’s really a ‘don’t look, don’t tell’ situation. We just really don’t know.”

After all, this isn’t the first time.

In 2000, a strain of corn called StarLink, engineered by Aventis (SNY) to kill caterpillars, was found in taco shells. In 2006, Bayer’s (BAYN) LibertyLink experimental rice made its way into the food supply, leading to lost exports. In 2012, the German company agreed to pay $750 million to settle claims from 11,000 U.S. farmers in five states. Restoring genetic purity to a crop is a very expensive process and takes time.

Is there a public safety issue?

That’s a matter of debate. Regulators were quick to jump on the Oregon discovery with a battery of tests and extensive investigations that are under way now. Monsanto (MON) designed the Roundup Ready wheat to withstand its Roundup herbicide used to keep fields free of pests, and the gene isn’t considered harmful. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the food and feed safety of Roundup Ready wheat more than a decade ago,” Monsanto said in a May 29 statement.

Critics of gene-altered food argue that the periodic crop discoveries highlight a regulatory system that is woefully inadequate to monitor the expansion of modified crops and to detect any dangerous genes that could materialize. “The question is why APHIS does not tighten its procedures for field trials. It’s incredibly lax, whatever APHIS may try to say,” says Bill Freese, a science policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety.

Does the rogue wheat have any Sarah Palin connection?

No.

via Genetically Modified Wheat Isn’t Supposed to Exist. So What Is It Doing in Oregon? – Businessweek.

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