USA: GE wheat found in Oregon
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
A farmer in Oregon has just found GE wheat growing in his field, Food & Water Watch reports. GE wheat has never been approved for use from US-authorities. It is "only" allowed and been used in field tests. This means unapproved, unsafe crop is no longer contained to its field tests, and is now out in the world. While the USDA is investigating, still figuring out the extent of how GE wheat has contaminated the field, one thing is clear: field tests can't keep GE crops contained.
Meanwhile Japan and Korea stopped the import of US-wheat and an Oregon farmer brought a charge against Monsanto.
It's not unusual for GE crops like corn or soy to spread beyond the fields where they're planted and contaminate neighboring farms, nor is this the first major case of an unapproved GE crop spreading from field tests. There are still field trials of GE wheat in other parts of the country, and this needs to be stopped. More information as well as a petition to stop the field testing of genetically engineered crops is available here.
While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says there's no risk to public health, wheat exporters are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react, NPR reports. In 2006, traces of genetically engineered rice - also unapproved - were discovered in large parts of the American rice harvest. That discovery shut down America's rice exports to some countries as a consequence. It seems like worry about export markets is the main reason why genetically engineered wheat isn't on the market in the first place. "We are not in favor of commercialising any biotech trait unless it's gone through regulatory approvals in the USA and in other countries," says Steve Mercer, vice president of communications for U.S. Wheat Associates.
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