USDA confirms unapproved GMO wheat found in Washington state

Updated: 14:25, CST

July 29 (Reuters) – Genetically modified wheat developed by Monsanto Co, and never approved by federal regulators, has been found growing in a Washington state farm field, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday.

The discovery of 22 unapproved genetically modified (GMO) wheat plants has prompted an investigation by federal and state investigators – the third such discovery in three years.

A farmer found the GMO wheat in a field that has not been planted since 2015. The plants had been identified as being one of Monsanto’s experimental varieties “a few weeks ago,” a spokesman from the Washington State Department of Agriculture said.

The USDA is testing grain harvested from the farmer’s other wheat fields as a precaution, the agency said. Officials also reached out to at least one trade group earlier this week, and alerted importers on Thursday.

The grain has not been traced in commercial supplies, USDA said in a statement.

There are currently no commercially approved genetically modified wheat varieties and incidences of rogue plants are rare. The first case was in 2013 in Oregon, which prompted buyers including South Korea and Japan to stop buying U.S. wheat. More unapproved wheat was found in Montana in 2014.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration believes there is no threat to the food supply due to the small number of plants found and based on what is known about the GMO variety.

South Korea, the fifth largest market for U.S. wheat, said earlier on Friday that the country will step up quarantine measures for U.S. milling and feed wheat shipments.

The discovery comes as the latest blow for the U.S. wheat market as prices hover near multi-year lows amid record-large stocks and stiff competition in global markets from low cost suppliers.

Monsanto helped to develop a test for MON 71700, the strain found in Washington state, which would be available to U.S. trading partners, the USDA said.

The variety was tested in limited field trials in the Pacific Northwest from 1998 to 2000, but was never commercialized, said Monsanto spokeswoman Christi Dixon.

The wheat found in Washington state is a slightly different strain than the one discovered in 2013, although both were developed to withstand applications of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup herbicide.

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Comments

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    Amazing coincidence. Makes one wonder about the timing of the discovery, the discoverer, the method of discovery, and just where the seeds came from.

  • Is this actually a new event? The article seems identical to one from the past..

  • GreenSenior

    The World Health Organization has declared that glyphosate PROBABLY CAUSES CANCER. Ag Canada has declared glyphosate is THE MOST SIGNIFICANT AGRONOMIC FACTOR IN INCIDENCES OF FUSARIUM HEAD BLIGHT AND COMMON ROOT ROT IN WHEAT AND BARLEY CROPS. http://www.PlanetInPeril.ca

    • hyperzombie

      They also declared that bacon, read meat. clove oil. Orange oil. shift work. pickles, PROBABLY CAUSES CANCER…..Your point is?

      THE MOST SIGNIFICANT AGRONOMIC FACTOR IN INCIDENCES OF FUSARIUM HEAD BLIGHT AND COMMON ROOT ROT IN WHEAT AND BARLEY CROPS

      Yep it helps to reduce it.

      • Harold

        What was your point? Treat glyphosate in the body with bacon, or do we eliminate both? Do we trust a pig or do we trust Monsanto? Decisions, decisions.

        • hyperzombie

          My point is that you are exposed to far more carcinogens in orders of magnitude larger quantities than glyphosate. Plus the cancer warning for glyphosate only applies to applicators, not consumers.

          • Harold

            Own your comment and you might have a point. That is to say: edit out “you are” and own it with your “I am” instead. You have no Idea of how many Carcinogens that I have eliminated my exposure to. Glyphosate is one. Your point is lost.

          • hyperzombie

            I call BS, on your statements.

          • Harold

            I do not need otherwise.

          • Denise

            I believe you are right about”far more carcinogens in orders of magnitude in larger quantities than glyphosate”. After having watched “Poisoned Fields: Gylphosate, the Underrated Risk?” on gmwatch.com I found this out. Apparently, the ethoxylated adjuvants added to the RoundUp pesticide formulation are a 1000X more toxic than the glyphosate. These endocrine disruptors and cancer causing chemicals are rarely mentioned.

          • hyperzombie

            Apparently, the ethoxylated adjuvants added to the RoundUp pesticide formulation are a 1000X more toxic than the glyphosate

            Wow, so you are saying that Organic soap is 1000x more toxic than glyphosate? The ethoxylated adjunct in Roundup is POEA, made from beef and sheep tallow, 100% natural. it is also approved for Organic farming.

          • Denise
          • hyperzombie

            So once again, you claim that Organic soap is far more dangerous than glyphosate,,,

          • AlBritton

            The “Organic” or non-organic soap allows the glyphosate to penetrate deeper. Roundup is an herbicide (you can call it a pesticide too if you want since it does disrupt beneficial bacteria) that acts by not allowing minerals to be taken up into the plant from the soil. Therefore the plants will die unless they have been genetically modified to resist it. It is also used on “roundup ready” wheat crops as a desiccant. Along with mycotoxins, roundup is one of the leading causes why people think that they’re having a gluten issue. Knowing these facts about the science behind round-up, it might be a wise idea to take some type of a mineral supplement to make up the difference. Or you can ignore the facts and embrace the myriad health problems that come from mineral deficiency. Either way, drinking a shotglass full of roundup is probably not a good idea since even microdoses are non-beneficial.

          • hyperzombie

            soap allows the glyphosate to penetrate deeper
            Not deeper, but it allows the glyphosate to contact the weed for longer. allowing the farmer to use far less active chemical.

            that acts by not allowing minerals to be taken up into the plant from the soil.
            Totally false, it blocks the ability of the plant to make energy. So it dies.
            “roundup ready” wheat crops as a desiccant
            Well First of all there is no GMO wheat and second you couldn’t use Roundup as a desiccant on Roundup ready wheat. If you are worried about Roundup on wheat and other cereal crops, talk to the Europeans they use it 4x more often than North Americans do.

            Along with mycotoxins

            Roundup and other pesticides prevent mycotoxins, that is the point of using them.

            roundup is one of the leading causes why people think that they’re having a gluten issue

            Roundup is rarely used on crops containing gluten, There is no point using it on wheat, barley and oats. (Unless you live in the Eu)

            Knowing these facts about the science behind round-up

            What science??

          • Kevin Mallborg

            soap, POEA etc just changes the surface tension so it doesn’t bead up. wow….pure evil I tells ya.

          • Kevin Mallborg

            POEA, soap and other surfactants that just change the surface tension so it doesn’t bead up. wow…real awful I tells ya.

  • Dayton

    Shouldn’t some company be held accountable???

  • Denise

    RT (Russia Today) television is presenting a series starting on August 18 to 21on Glyphosate called “Poisoned Fields”. Unlike main stream media television they tell it like it is. You can watch it online at RT.com, as well.

    • Denise

      The full title of the series is called : Poisoned Fields- Gylphosate – An Underrated Risk?

      • hyperzombie

        Well you should really watch this show and I hope that they explain that wheat, barley and oat farmers in Eastern Europe use far more Glyphosate than North Americans.

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