In a news release yesterday the USDA announced that the presence genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants have been found on an Oregon farm. Sadly, it seems that the chaos that we predicted from Monsanto’s aggression on our lands is coming true.
USDA Authorized Field Tests of GM Wheat 1998 – 2005
It turns out that this variety is the same wheat variety that Monsanto was authorized (by the USDA) to field test in 16 states from 1998 to 2005. It appears that this variety has now escaped onto farms that were not involved in the testing. This has some MAJOR repercussions for US agriculture.
They were alerted to the problem by an Oregon State University scientist that initial tests of wheat samples from an Oregon farm indicated the possible presence of GE glyphosate-resistant wheat plants.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has launched a full investigation.
No GE Wheat Approved in US at This Time
There are no GE wheat varieties approved for sale or in commercial production in the United States or elsewhere at this time.
According to the news release,
The detection of this wheat variety does not pose a food safety concern. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a voluntary consultation on the safety of food and feed derived from this GE glyphosate-resistant wheat variety in 2004. For the consultation, the developer provided information to FDA to support the safety of this wheat variety. FDA completed the voluntary consultation with no further questions concerning the safety of grain and forage derived from this wheat, meaning that this variety is as safe as non-GE wheat currently on the market. (my emphasis)
I just love how they come to these conclusion. If you read the above quote you’ll see that the developer provided the FDA with information. That’s just business as usual — just like the pharmaceutical companies providing information that their drugs are safe…
USDA Collaborates With State, Industry, and Trading Partners
According to Michael Firko, Acting Deputy Administrator for APHIS’ Biotechnology Regulatory Services,
We are taking this situation very seriously and have launched a formal investigation… Our first priority is to as quickly as possible determine the circumstances and extent of the situation and how it happened. We are collaborating with state, industry, and trading partners on this situation and are committed to providing timely information about our findings. USDA will put all necessary resources towards this investigation.
We also know about the revolving door of the FDA officials with our government health officials. That’s what scares me — collaboration with state, industry, and trading partners.
As went corn — so goes wheat.
Repercussion for US Agriculture
Wheat growers now need to test their wheat for any of these GM strains. This should concern people who eat wheat products and buy processed foods with wheat as an ingredient. This should also concern countries outside the US that import wheat. They may not look kindly upon getting GM wheat.
Maybe there is a silver lining here. Maybe this will affect Monsanto, Big Ag, the USDA, and the FDA where it hurts — the pocketbook!
The Solution is to Go Grain Free
I have written about the many reasons people choose to go grain free — mostly because avoiding all grains removes a significant immune system stimulant. Many folks are allergic (either true IgE or delayed hypersensitivities) to grain products, particularly wheat. Now we have yet another concern with wheat — we are not sure if it is genetically modified.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
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