Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monsanto Hit With Lawsuits In Mystery GM Wheat Case

Monsanto Hit With Lawsuits In Mystery GM Wheat Case

American Farmers have launched two class action lawsuits against biotech giant Monsanto following the discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat growing in the Pacific Northwest. According to farmers, the company’s negligence has ruined sales.

Though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has never approved either the growing or sale of GMO wheat in the US, the agency began investigating its existence when an Oregon farmer found wheat growing in his fields that was resistant to Monsanto’s patented Roundup pesticide, known by its scientific classification as glyphosate.

That farmer sent samples of the Roundup-resistant wheat to Oregon State University, which conducted tests on them. OSU then contacted the USDA, which subsequently confirmed that the wheat was a GMO variety that Monsanto had been authorized to field test in 16 US states, including Oregon, from 1998 to 2005.

Surprisingly, the GMO wheat discovered in Oregon had somehow been growing over a decade after test crops should have been destroyed in 2001.

Though the scientific merits of the growing and consumption of GMO crops are still a source of contention, genetically modified wheat is a commercial liability for US farmers, who exported $8.1 billion worth of wheat in 2012 - nearly half of the total $17.9 billion US wheat crop.

Following the USDA’s confirmation that GMO wheat was present, Japan immediately canceled a 25,000-ton import of soft white wheat, and both South Korea and Europe announced more stringent testing of American wheat shipments for possible contamination.

According to the plaintiffs in lawsuits filed against the biotech giant, Monsanto should have been aware that open-air testing of transgenic wheat posed a risk to farmers.

"The announcement led to immediate concern that the development could disrupt exports of soft white wheat from the Pacific Northwest. An official with the Japanese Embassy stated that the country would cancel orders for Pacific Northwest soft white wheat because Japanese people were 'concerned about the discovery of unapproved wheat,'" according to the complaint.

Though genetically modified crops such as corn, soy and canola are common in the US, GMO wheat differs in that it would be directly consumed by humans, rather than used for feed for livestock. Moreover, consumers in both Asia and Europe are sensitive to gene-altered foods, to the extent that both China and Hungary both recently destroyed US imports found to be genetically modified.

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Hmm, I guess the Chinese govt doesn't care what its people are sensitive to...or at the very least the animals they will be feeding this to that will eventually be eaten by people... and what a coincidence Obama just met with the Chinese president...

China Approves Three GMO Soybean Imports

Also see:

Obama's Covert Trade Deal

Seems Obama was also in Berlin today talking about peace and justice. In other words, doing what the multinationals running our world tell you to do. That is their interpretation of "peace and justice..." Corporate rule and silencing dissent.

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