Thursday, June 06, 2013

GMO Wheat in Oregon: Monsanto says, "Huh?"

It's a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself. Ten years after a strain of Monsanto's so-called "Round-Up Ready" wheat was tested in Oregon (Wait, you didn't know that?) the same strain of the wheat, which was abandoned by the company and was said to have been completely destroyed, has been found in an Eastern Oregon farmer's field.

Subsequently, Japan, which bans "organisms modified by modern biotechnology (living modified organisms)," has summarily canceled existing and future orders for NW wheat. Other countries are threatening to do the same in what could amount to a blow to Oregon's wheat crop valued at between $300 million and $500 million dollars.

What does Monsanto have to say in its defense? Well, it's floated accusations of "industrial sabotage" by unnamed parties, but basically, as Stephen Colbert quotes in the clip above, it says "it is completely mystified by the appearance of the wheat."

In the meantime, I'm going looking for my deerstalker and Calabash.


Becky said...

It's in Eastern Oregon, near Pendleton. Don't think I ever saw wheat growing in Southern Oregon when I lived there. FWIW, I'm in town (Pendlton), and have canola plants popping up all over my yard. Hmmm... I wonder if they're round up ready...

Becky said...

SW Oregon that is. I'm sure it's grown in SE Oregon too.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks, Becky. I've made that correction.

As for your canola plants, you might call the ODA. The bulk of the canola crop in the US is now contaminated with GMOs. You could try spraying one with Round-Up to see if it's resistant. You might contact Friends of Family Farmers for resources on who to contact.