US says rogue wheat was 'isolated' incident

June 14, 2013
A farmer drives his combine harvester on a wheat field, August 11, 2012, in Cassel, northern, France. US agriculture officials said Friday the discovery of genetically engineered wheat in an Oregon field appears to be an isolated incident.

US agriculture officials said Friday the discovery of genetically engineered wheat in an Oregon field appears to be an isolated incident.

The plants, modified to be resistant to Monsanto , were discovered last month and led some Asian importers to halt or suspend trade with US wheat growers while an investigation was launched.

Some crops of corn and soybeans are genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides on the global market, but such modifications to wheat have never been approved anywhere in the world.

"As of today, USDA has not found nor been informed of anything that would indicate that this incident amounts to more than a single isolated incident in a single field on a single farm," said a statement from the US .

"All information collected so far shows no indication of the presence of GE (genetically engineered) wheat in commerce."

The USDA said the discovery does not pose any concern to public health or food safety, and recalled that the completed its consultation process with Monsanto in 2004.

"Completion of the FDA consultation process means this variety is as safe as non-GE wheat currently on the market," it said.

The probe so far has included interviews with the farmer and the seed supplier, USDA said. Samples of the the farmer bought, along with sample of his and this year and last have tested negative for GE material.

"Investigators are continuing to conduct interviews with approximately 200 area growers," said the statement.

US officials have also provided trading partners with a DNA-based method for detecting Monsanto modified grain at a frequency of one in 200 kernels, it said.

"Major markets, such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan, have postponed imports of US as they continue to study information from US officials to determine what, if any, future action may be required," said the statement.

"USDA officials will continue to provide information as quickly as possible as the investigation continues—with a top priority on giving our trading partners the tools they need to ensure science-based trade decisions."

Explore further: USDA: Unapproved modified wheat in Oregon field (Update)

Related Stories

US probes genetically modified wheat discovery

May 31, 2013

The US Department of Agriculture is investigating the discovery of genetically engineered wheat in an Oregon field, as outcry mounted Friday among consumer groups and Japan suspended some US imports.

Monsanto: Modified wheat 'isolated occurrence' (Update)

June 5, 2013

A genetically modified test strain of wheat that emerged to the surprise of an Oregon farmer last month was likely the result of an accident or deliberate mixing of seeds, the company that developed it said Wednesday.

EU recommends testing of US wheat after GM find

May 31, 2013

The European Union is urging its 27 member states to test certain wheat shipments from the United States after unauthorized genetically modified grains were found on a U.S. farm, officials said Friday.

Recommended for you

A possible explanation for how germlines are rejuvenated

November 23, 2017

(—A pair of researchers affiliated with the University of California and Calico Life Sciences, has discovered a possible explanation regarding how human germlines are rejuvenated. In their paper published in the ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2013
likely "planted" by one of the many enviro-whackos to create news.
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 15, 2013
Gene modified wheat should glow in the dark so it would be easier to spot.
5 / 5 (1) Jun 15, 2013
Moot point, as weeds are becoming glyphosate resistant. No point in purchasing/planting herbicide resistant crop seed if the herbicide isn't effective. Ditto the herbicide itself.
1 / 5 (1) Jun 15, 2013
No one is saying _how_ the frankenwheat got there. I wont be suprised when _more_ examples are found. Remember, Monsatano has only _one_ serious competitor for food production: Nature. It is in Monsatano's interest to destroy the competition... Watch and see.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.