Monsanto Panics as Oregon GM Wheat Scandal Spreads Worldwide

Posted on May 30 2013 - 3:07pm by Sustainable Pulse

Monday 3rd June update: Monsanto has told EU authorities how to detect the unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat found growing on a farm in Oregon, but it will be at least two weeks before imports to the EU can be tested, an official said.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Wednesday that test results of plant samples from an Oregon farm indicate the presence of genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants. Further testing by USDA laboratories indicates the presence of the same GE glyphosate-resistant wheat variety that Monsanto was authorized to field test in 16 states from 1998 to 2005. APHIS launched a formal investigation after being notified 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. There are no GE wheat varieties approved for sale or in commercial production in the United States or elsewhere at this time.

APHIS have now provided an FAQ document on the Oregon GM Wheat crisis – find it here!

As a result of the USDA announcement Japanese authorities have canceled a tender offer to buy wheat from the US and other governments worldwide have threatened to stop all US wheat imports.

The EU Commission has asked the United States how to test for unapproved GM Wheat, a spokesman said, adding that incoming shipments would be tested and blocked if they contained the strain.

Friday Update: South Korean millers have suspended imports of U.S. wheat and some other Asian countries have stepped up inspections.

Meanwhile, Monsanto were amazingly quick to try and throw water on the fire  – especially for them as they usually take a while to send out press releases on important stories – Maybe they really are panicking?

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.“We are taking this situation very seriously and have launched a formal investigation,” said Michael Firko, Acting Deputy Administrator for APHIS’ Biotechnology Regulatory Services, “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. This situation is unacceptable and USDA will put all necessary resources towards this investigation.”

The Plant Protection Act (PPA) provides for substantial penalties for serious infractions. Should APHIS determine that this situation was the result of a violation of the PPA, APHIS has the authority to seek penalties for such a violation including civil penalties up to $1,000,000 and has the authority to refer the matter for criminal prosecution, if appropriate.

APHIS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ FDA work together to regulate the safe use of organisms derived from modern biotechnology. APHIS regulates the introduction (meaning the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release/field testing) of certain GE organisms that may pose a risk to plant health. EPA regulates pesticides, including plants with plant-incorporated protectants (pesticides intended to be produced and used in a living plant), to ensure public safety. EPA also sets limits on pesticide residues on food and animal feed. FDA has primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of human food and animal feed, as well as safety of all plant-derived foods and feeds.

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32 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Laura Daniels May 30, 2013 at 20:15 - Reply

    Monsanto knew this would come out, hence the Monsanto protection Act. They probably made sure it would come out during this time since by September the act is terminated.

  2. Laura Daniels May 30, 2013 at 20:16 - Reply

    I DO LOVE that Monsanto is panicking. Normally, they keep a lid on bad publicity. They know how to keep a low profile.

  3. Lynette May 30, 2013 at 20:56 - Reply

    They are not panicking… Have you ever visited their website?… they are proud that they are doing this “to provide for our families.” MAKES ME SICK

  4. Robyn May 30, 2013 at 21:18 - Reply

    The FDA doesn’t give a rats azz if food is safe or not, if they did, they wouldn’t allow ANY GMO for human or animal consumption. All they want are the BIG $$$, and they approve anything, regardless of the consequences. They’re allowing MONSANTO to destroy plant life, the soil, animals, and murdering human life. . Mankind must stop Monsanto’s SEEDS OF DEATH, before Montanto’s SEEDS OF DEATH destroys the planet and Mankind!!

    • Mike McCree June 3, 2013 at 01:10 - Reply

      Monsanto and the FDA are closely linked with many ex-Monsanto employees working for the FDA and vice-versa. The FDA is a “greenwashing” organization for the biotech industry and others. The FDA does no independent safety testing of GM crops, the GM manufacturers won’t allow it and the FDA sees no conflict of interest in allowing the biotech industry to provide test data for their own products. The system is hopelessly corrupt.

  5. rawnet May 30, 2013 at 21:26 - Reply

    Gee, a $1,000,000 fine, they must be running scared… Peanuts to them…

    • hiway280z May 31, 2013 at 23:41 - Reply

      what they pay a little fine and force feed us death.

  6. Karl Smiley May 30, 2013 at 22:01 - Reply

    Let’s see…They say it’s safe because tests by the company who made it say it’s safe? No conflict of interest there, right?

  7. Connie Nelson May 30, 2013 at 22:35 - Reply

    Maybe this will stop the Congress from allowing GMO crops…the rest of the world will not accept them.

  8. Sunscape May 31, 2013 at 00:29 - Reply

    Monsanto created this Franken food and now it’s coming back to haunt them. Isn’t it interesting that only now when it could threaten U.S. exports and a potential loss of billions of dollars, they’re finally paying attention! Stay tuned, folks…fairly soon we shall see Monsanto on a tomb stone.

    • Ewalsh June 1, 2013 at 18:58 - Reply

      Agreed. It’s not business as usual when it starts affecting trade with other countries. If countries don’t want GMOS, they may not even take a chance on any US crops. Not to mention GMO fed livestock. There is no damage control possible on that much of an economic affect. If I were somebody holding Monsanto stock, I’d be dumping it.

  9. crow May 31, 2013 at 02:52 - Reply

    A one million dollar fine is nothing to a company like them. They spent way beyond that getting congress to pass the Monsanto free parking law. I am not anti big business but this is beyond big business this is no care for humans at all.
    I have read that BT genes in corn cause blood damage to humans, Why is that not also in th enews?

    • LINDA M BISHOP June 1, 2013 at 16:49 - Reply

      because “the news”, at least, the major news sources, are no longer independent or investigative. remember when 20/20 used to be investigative journalism? so was Dateline NBC. now, they “entertain” us. pitiful. more importantly–alarming. did you notice the silence in the media about the huge outpouring of resistance to Monsanto that occurred on May 25th, worldwide? barely a footnote. good thing the internet is available, as the corporate media is no longer interested in real news reporting.

  10. Vince Giorno May 31, 2013 at 07:18 - Reply

    Anything that puts Monsanto and other rogue biotech corporations under greater scrutiny is a positive development, especially if government is involved, but please keep the editing above board. There is no evidence here of Monsanto panicking. In fact, there is no evidence of Monsanto responding in any way. Surely you must be able to find a better way to keep the key words fresh. Monsanto GM wheat discovery triggers world concern? Japan cancels order over Monsanto GM wheat, other countries review? Exaggerated claims and words like “scandal” and “worldwide” ring of sensationalism. They turn people off and make them question any good information in the article. Was the safe rating based only on Monsanto-supplied info? Maybe, and that would be a very big concern, but now I have to wonder if that is true or more loose editing. I don’t think you want me or anyone else wondering that. This battle is going to be hard enough to win.

    • LINDA M BISHOP June 1, 2013 at 16:55 - Reply

      glad you said that. i was thinking the same thing as i searched for the paragraph about Monsanto “panicking”. i think the only thing that might cause Monsanto to panic would be losing all of their paid toadies in D.C. maybe not panic. maybe only brow furrowing.

  11. Ryan May 31, 2013 at 15:30 - Reply

    There should no longer be any illusions that companies like Monsanto and Dow are the direct and inevitable consequence of allowing capitalism to function as our socioeconomic system.

    If there are two lamp stores, and the owner of the store with inferior lamps says to his customers “you should buy the lamp from the other store; it is superior”, he will not be in business very long. If on the other hand he lies to his customers and says “you should buy my lamp; it is superior”, he is much more likely to succeed.

    In this way, capitalism rewards unethical behaviour, and punishes ethical behaviour. When you scale this up to multi billion dollar companies, you get unethical behaviour of equal proportion.

    Corporations lie, cheat, steal, defraud, manipulate, or even kill because corporations which behave this way are more likely to be successful in a capitalist system. This kind of behaviour is encouraged by capitalism. Capitalism and sociopathy are brother and sister.

    So long as our socioeconomic system is capitalism, we should not expect anything but more unethical behaviour putting the public and the planet at risk.

    • Alice June 1, 2013 at 04:55 - Reply

      Capitalism certainly has issues, but what exactly is your alternative there Ryan? It is pretty east to dump on the current system, maybe even trendy, but again… what would you do better? What is your replacement oh wise sage?

    • LINDA M BISHOP June 1, 2013 at 17:20 - Reply

      you are right, of course. capitalism has many opportunities for wrongdoing built in. the only way it can work properly, much like democracy, is to function amidst an INFORMED AND EDUCATED citizenry. the danger comes when the information and education machines are owned by the corporate capitalists. like now. in these times, gullibility is dangerous and skepticism is the first line of defense. time to dust off our brains and think for ourselves!

  12. Alex June 1, 2013 at 02:24 - Reply

    Here’s the thing folks…This is a very good thing…why? Because ANYTHING that hits America in the pocketbook and causes a decrease in funds coming in an excess of wheat that must be dealt with is not gonna be overlooked. We have always said, vote with your pocketbook and now the world is voting with its purse strings as well. Pride commeth before a fall and fall they will…the dominos were lined UP by them after all! Much love and light to a world where we have transparency in all transactions and safe and healthy food is a given!

  13. Jodi James June 1, 2013 at 14:39 - Reply

    You will pay if our wheat exports get stopped in Australia! Your open air experiments will contaminate! Your idiots Monsanto! We don’t want GM in our daily bread!

  14. Arlene Johnson June 1, 2013 at 19:08 - Reply

    People need to understand that it’s not capitalism per se, it’s who heads the corporations. Monsanto’s head is a man who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization that seeks to destroy the United States. This is why they created GM seeds.

  15. MountainMan1953 June 1, 2013 at 23:51 - Reply

    This is a stupid headline. How is it that Monsanto is panicking. They know exactly what they are doing and it’s all according to plan. And if not, they have an army of “security” staff and enough bought and paid for politicians like Barack Obama to protect them and sweep it all under the rug. The media (and the public) will get tired of this story as easily and quickly as they get tired of the last tornado or hurricane.

  16. Jack Kittredge June 2, 2013 at 07:17 - Reply

    i appreciate your coverage of this event but your headlines have no relationship to what the articles say. Where is the evidence that “Monsanto Panics”? There should be quotes or other hard info from Monsanto sources. Please don’t treat your readers as ignorant. That has been the opposition’s strategy which has gotten them into such trouble. Thanks! — jack

    • Admin June 2, 2013 at 19:27 - Reply

      Hi Jack – we are not trying to mislead – in fact our sources suggest that Monsanto are not panicking because of the suggested fine but because they have caused an international disaster for US Wheat traders – we have added the Monsanto Press Release to try and show that they are actually ‘in a panic’ – the quickest reply to a scandal we have ever seen from Monsanto!

  17. John June 3, 2013 at 16:08 - Reply

    Eat the seafood from the gulf, (cuz it’s O.K.), follow it with meat from corn fed cows (cuz they ain’t poisonous), strawberries from Ca. (cuz they aren’t THAT bad),

  18. D G Saxman June 5, 2013 at 04:25 - Reply

    Burn the wheat.

  19. Jack W June 5, 2013 at 22:14 - Reply

    Monsanto will just tell Obama they don’t want to be sued or have any interference in whatever Genetic engineering they are doing and Obama will do what he is told.

  20. Okey Van Wy June 30, 2013 at 17:24 - Reply

    If this happened in the 60’s or 70’s we would have been prosecuting these criminals or there would have been a revolution by now!

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