It’s unlikely the discovery of a few plants of a genetically modified variety in a farmer’s field in Oregon will depress U.S. wheat exports as was experienced a decade ago with beef exports after a single Mad Cow was found.
But USDA is taking no chances. The agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) says an Oregon farmer was trying to kill some wheat plantings with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide, but the weed killer was not working.
The farmer called in Oregon State University, which found that the herbicide-resistant wheat was the variety developed by Monsanto and field tested from 1998-2005.
While Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn and soybean seeds dominate their markets in the U.S., the company abandoned its GE wheat after world grain markets refused to accept the product.
As a result, no GE wheat is approved for general use in the U.S. even though it had been found safe for human consumption.
An APHIS investigation apparently already stems beyond Oregon to several other western states with plans to track plants found back to their origin.
Investigators believe the exposure is limited and should not impact trade.© Food Safety News