Posted on May 29, 2013 by Light Worker 29501
Unapproved Monsanto crop found growing in Oregon
A genetically-modified strain of wheat that was never approved by the
United States Department of Agriculture as been discovered growing in
Oregon, triggering a federal probe that is now spanning several states.
Investigators with the USDA want to know why the GMO crop, made by
biotech company Monsanto but never approved for use, sprouted up in a
field in the Pacific Northwest.
America’s wheat trade could be jeopardized if concerns grow among
foreign consumers already weary of genetically engineered and modified
organisms. Several countries across the European Union have banned the
cultivation of GMO crops, and last weekend anti-Monsanto demonstrations
were attended by millions of protesters on six continents.
The USDA has yet to approve any GMO strain of wheat to be grown in
the US, but Monsanto field tested a genetically engineered variety from
1998 through 2005 before withdrawing their application from the agency’s
regulatory approval process.
The wheat, resistant to Monsanto’s patented pesticide Roundup, is one
of many GMO crops in the company’s line of “Roundup Ready” products.
After a farmer in Oregon noticed that wheat plants on his property were
still growing despite dousing his field with the pesticide, he alerted
Michael Firko, the deputy administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
“We are taking this very seriously,” Firko said. “We have a very
active investigation going on in several states in the western US.”
According to a 2003 article in the Billings, Montana Gazette,
Monsanto pledged that its GMO wheat crop resistant to strong pesticides
would not be introduced commercially until proven complete safe and
approved in the US, Canada and Japan.
“We have to prove the safety of the gene, the food, the animal feed
and the environment. That it is as safe as unmodified varieties and
(nutritionally) is substantially equivalent to commercial varieties,”
Monsanto’s then director of industry affairs, Michael Doane, told the
Gazette at the time.
So far, the USDA has determined that the wheat crop in question was
the same variety tested by Monsanto up until eight years ago. The US
Food and Drug Administration found no safety concerns with the crop
after completing a test in 2004, but Monsanto suspended plans to follow
through with the product the following year without receiving the USDA’s
stamp of approval.
Despite growing criticism from agriculturalists, environmentalists
and consumers over potential health risks, Monsanto continues to attest
that GMOs could change the world’s food landscape for the better.
“There is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us,” Monsanto CEO
Hugh Grant told a reporter for Bloomberg earlier this month.
USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse confirmed to Agri-Pulse
that state agriculture directors in Oregon, Washington and Idaho are now
coordinating a multi-state investigation, and foreign trade
representatives in Canada, Mexico and Asia have been contacted.
“Hopefully our trading partners will be very understanding,” Scuse said, emphasizing “this is not a food or feed issue.”
Thanks to: http://lightworker29501.com