When it was determined there was no market for GMO'ed wheat (neither Europe or Asia wanted anything to do with frankenwheat), Monsanto swears they then 'rigorously' culled the test seeds - burning them then burying them six feet deep in their grave. What they didn't burn and bury, Monsanto claims they carried back home to St. Louis.
|These are the good looking folk of Saint Louis. You ought to see the residents who volunteer for Monsanto's R&D|
Yet, now 12 years after its last small test plantings in the Pacific Northwest, Monsanto's GMO seed has re-appeared - no - Risen from the Dead! But this isn't the judeo-Christian's promised rapturious return of Jesus (the guy in whom one half of those 'judeo-christians' presumably don't believe); no this appears as if it is a 'Night of the Living Dead' inspired Zombie Attack.
And this Monsanto-scripted 'B' horror could cost Oregon alone as much as one half billion dollars in income from wheat usually exported to Asia and Europe. Should Monsanto's flick happen to play in other Western wheat growing states it will trim billions from America's exports.
Should this seed find its way into Manitoba's and Alberta's wheat, the rest of the world may have no choice but to import GMO'ed wheat as the Western US and Western Canada export more wheat than the rest of the world combined.
Maybe that's the real reason this 'burned and buried 6 feet deep' devil returned from its grave.
|Thanks Monsanto. Thanks Politicians and whores for Monsanto. The rest of us owe you one.|
Article below originated in the Oregonian.
Stunned researchers at Oregon State University couldn't help but question themselves. Once, twice, three times in early May -- in two different labs -- they analyzed DNA extracted from wheat plants grown on an eastern Oregon farm.
A farmer's attempt to kill the plants with weedkiller had failed, and a growing cadre of university and state agriculture officials wanted to know why. With each test, the result was the same: The wheat had been genetically modified to resist glyphosate, the key ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.
But that didn't make sense. The last Oregon test plantings of a "Roundup Ready" variety of wheat developed by Monsanto, which makes the herbicide, had ended 12 years before.
Genetically modified -- or GM -- wheat should not have been growing in that field. Or anywhere else, for that matter.
"This was a surprise to us," said Robert Zemetra, a wheat breeder at OSU's Crop and Soil Science Department. "We wanted to make sure we were not making a mistake.
"The importance of what was found was not lost on us."
It wasn't lost on economists, policymakers, federal regulators or other farmers, either. The discovery, announced last week, immediately re-ignited a fierce argument about the safety and wisdom of genetically tweaking American crops.Japan postponed a 25,000-ton order from a Portland grain shipper, and South Korea and the European Union quickly called for new testing of American wheat. An Oregon crop valued at $300 million to $500 million a year was suddenly in jeopardy.
Food safety advocates adopted a we-told-you-so stance: The genie is out of the bottle, genetically modified plants cannot be controlled and -- in addition to perhaps posing health risks -- they foul American exports to a world that doesn't want to eat "frankenfood."
"Nature finds a way," said George Kimbrell, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety in San Francisco, arguing that even the most carefully regulated plant studies can go wrong.
A 2005 study estimated that the wheat industry stands to lose $94 million to $272 million annually if GM wheat was introduced, according to the center. Markets that aren't comfortable with the idea of GM food will simply stop buying, or buy elsewhere.
Kimbrell said the Oregon wheat incident is a replay of 2006, when unapproved GM rice was found in a U.S. harvest. The European Union banned U.S. imports, rice prices plunged and Bayer CropScience, which developed and field-tested the rice, agreed to pay $750 million in damages to American farmers.
Monsanto may be liable for damages if Oregon wheat growers or shippers lose sales, Kimbrell said.
He and other critics say U.S. regulation of genetically modified crops is weak, with regulators relying on company data and inadequate monitoring of the plants' geographical spread, particularly after testing is complete. U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, is trying to repeal the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act," a rider attached to a stopgap funding bill in March that strips federal courts of the ability to require more safety review for some genetically modified seeds.
Monsanto downplays the Oregon incident. The company maintains there are no food, feed or environmental safety concerns associated with the "Roundup Ready" gene. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a similar statement.
The company tested glyphosate-resistant wheat in 16 states, including Oregon, from 1998 to 2005. The last Oregon trial was in 2001, according to the USDA, and Monsanto ultimately withdrew its application to have the GM variety approved after it became clear export markets didn't want it. The company said it closed the testing program in a "rigorous, well-documented and audited" process that should have left no modified plants or seed remaining.
"While (test results) are unexpected, there is considerable reason to believe that the presence of the Roundup Ready trait in wheat, if determined to be valid, is very limited," Monsanto said in a prepared statement.
Hiroshi Furusawa, Japan's consul general in Portland, said Friday that his country will need assurance that Oregon wheat is safe. Japan imported about 3 million tons of U.S. wheat last year. Soft white wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest and shipped out of Portland is primarily used to make noodles and crackers.
"In terms of food safety, we are meticulously concerned about what we eat," Furusawa said. "I don't know if it is within our DNA, but somehow we are very picky as to what we eat."
Some crop scientists, including Zemetra at OSU, say opposition to GM crops is often based on emotion rather than science. He believes the U.S. should not abandon efforts to manipulate food crops to meet changing conditions.
"With everything going on with climate change and the challenge of diseases and insect problems, and wide temperature swings, we're going need the ability to access all technology," he said.
Kimbrell said the industry makes similar claims, but so far has only produced crops modified to resist herbicides rather than climate change or drought conditions, for instance.
Nonetheless, Zemetra has unique insight into the work: He conducted one of Monsanto's GM wheat trials in 2000-01 when he worked at the University of Idaho.
"Very rigorous" protocols controlled the work at agricultural research stations, he said, which only deepens the mystery of how the GM wheat plants popped up in the Oregon field.
After the studies, GM seeds were burned, buried six feet underground or shipped back to Monsanto, he said. Wide "no-plant" areas were maintained around test sites to prevent pollen movement from the GM wheat to other crops. Testing sites were checked two years after the trials for the presence of "volunteer" wheat plants that might have popped up.
A "gene flow" study done by OSU in 2005 showed it is possible for genetic traits to transfer from one wheat plant to another -- through pollen, for example -- but it occurred at a very low rate and the maximum range appeared to be 120 feet, he said. In addition, the GM wheat being tested was a spring-planted variety, while the wheat found in the Oregon field was a winter variety.
"They don't flower at the same time," Zemetra said, making gene flow even more unlikely.
Accidental seed contamination is possible, but the questions of how and when may be impossible to answer, he said.
All of which spells trouble for future GM crops, Zemetra said.
"There's a lot of fear," he said. "And this isn't going to help, I can tell you that."