Monsanto: Genetically altered wheat may be sabotage

The world's largest seed company says a 'purposeful' act could explain the unapproved genetically engineered crop.

By Aimee Picchi Jun 6, 2013 12:41PM

File photo of a Monsanto Co. seed bag sitting on a palate at a farm in Princeton, Illinois on April 3, 2013 (© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)Rogue wheat from genetically engineered seeds may have been introduced to an Oregon field through an act of sabotage, according to seed giant Monsanto (MON).


The genetically modified organism's planting also could have been accidental, Monsanto chief technology officer Robb Fraley said on a conference call, Bloomberg reports.


"It seems likely to be a random, isolated occurrence more consistent with the accidental or purposeful mixing of a small amount of seed during the planting, harvesting or during the fallow cycle in an individual field," Fraley said. 


Asked whether it could be sabotage, Fraley said the company is looking into the possibility. Monsanto is "certainly not implicating the farmer at all in this," he added.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also investigating how the wheat seed, which isn't approved for commercial planting, ended up in an Oregon field. 


The discovery of the GMO wheat sent shock waves throughout the agricultural and food worlds. Not a single country, including the U.S., has approved genetically modified wheat, according to KCET.org. 


The fallout has already been swift, with U.S. wheat banned in both Japan and South Korea after the discovery. Wheat prices may drop as additional countries postpone or delay wheat purchases in the wake of the discovery, Bloomberg notes. 


Critics of GMOs say the altered crops could introduce new toxins and allergens into the food system and the environment. That has led to a push from some consumers for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, although no current law requires companies to do so. 


Unilever's (UL) Ben & Jerry's ice cream recently jumped on the issue. The company plans to source all its products as GMO-free by 2014. 


The wheat found on the Oregon farm was a strain of experimental seed designed to withstand Monsanto's Roundup weed killer. Such genetically engineered seeds are aimed at allowing farmers to douse their fields with herbicide, killing all plants except the Roundup Ready crops. 


The unapproved wheat was found on less than 1% of a 125-acre field, Fraley said. Tests of commercial wheat seeds from 30,000 samples in Oregon and Washington showed no signs of genetic engineering, the Portland Business Journal notes.


Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi


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21Comments
Jun 6, 2013 1:38PM
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If you are not pissed off yet you are not paying attention!!!
Jun 6, 2013 2:16PM
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Monsanto can claim whatever they want, but that does not absolve them from being liable.  They created this stuff (I refuse to call it food) they are responsible.  
Jun 6, 2013 4:41PM
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Check into all the "great" things Monsanto is doing for us.  They are bullying farmers, have basically made a monopoly despite anti-trust laws, and have more rights than the average person.  When you are left nothing but GMO's to eat and begin crying about it, you can look back and remember this "author" was writing B.S. articles.  Check out how Monsanto screwed over India's farmers and now they are killing themselves with Monsanto's own pesticide provided with the GMO's they promised would give a high yield but didn't.  Many people in positions of power have worked for Monsanto, to include Justice Clarence Thomas, who don't excuse them from any decisions made about Monsanto vs. the people.
Jun 6, 2013 4:28PM
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Of course Monsanto would never admit to something like this even if they knew for a fact that it was an accident.  They are a very arrogant bunch that thinks their Sh*t doesn't stink and they don't make mistakes so it must be somebody else that caused this.  Even if it is proven that it came from internal sources they will claim it's some contractors fault and fire them as their employees can do no wrong.

Jun 6, 2013 5:30PM
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This is very bad news, yet the Monsanto Protection Act will keep them from being sued or prosecuted in any way, if they are found to be responsible. It absolves them from ALL liability.

We can't even get GMO food labeled in our  country, but other countries can refuse to buy these products. Fair? Not at all.

Jun 6, 2013 6:57PM
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SACCHARIN :: National Cancer Institute in 1980, showed that saccharin caused cancer in test rats and mice.
AGENT ORANGE ::, Vietnam estimates that over 400,000 people were killed or maimed, 500,000 children were born with birth defects, and up to 1 million people were disabled or suffered from health problems—not to mention the far-reaching impact it had on the HEALTH OF over 3MILLION AMERICAN TROOPS AND THEIR OFFSPRING.
Internal Monsanto memos show that Monsanto knew of the problems of dioxin contamination of Agent Orange when it sold it to the U.S. government for use in Vietnam. Despite the widespread health impact, Monsanto and Dow
THEY PRODUCED ASPARTAME ::: clinical trials  of Aspartame on 7 infant monkeys as part of aspartame’s application for FDA approval, ...!!1 monkey died and 5 other monkeys HAD GRAND MAL SEIZURES!!!—yet aspartame was approved by the FDA in 1974. In 1985, Monsanto  began marketing the product as NutraSweet. Twenty years later, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report listing 94 health issues caused by aspartame.
Think that can’t happen here? Two crops were recently genetically engineered to withstand a weedkiller made with one of the major components of Agent Orange, 2,4-D, in order to combat “super weeds” that evolved due to the excessive use of RoundUp.)
Make RoundUp is linked to butterfly mortality, and the proliferation of superweeds. Studies in rats have shown consistently negative health impacts ranging from tumors, altered organ function, and infertility, to cancer and premature death
They owned company in charge of Manhattan Project
They made Petroleum-based Fertilizer after purchasing a major oil refinery. Petroleum-based fertilizers can kill beneficial soil micro-organisms, STERILIZING THE SOIL & CREATING A DEPENDENCE, like an addiction, TO THE SYNTHETIC REPLACEMENTS
Made PCB's used to produce coolant fluids in elec. transformers:: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report citing PCBs as the cause of cancer in animals,  & evidence that they can cause cancer in humans.  studies showed a causal link between exposure to PCBs and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. In 1979, the United States Congress recognized PCBs as a significant environmental toxin and persistent organic pollutant, and banned its production in the U.S. they weren’t entirely stopped until the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants banned PCBs globally in 2001. And that’s when Monsanto’s duplicity was uncovered: internal company memos from 1956 surfaced, proving that Monsanto had known about dangers of PCBs from early on.
rBGH milk ::  It has been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer in humans
Monsanto’s profits are from seeds that are engineered to tolerate Monsanto’s RoundUp—an ever-rising, dual income stream as weeds continue to evolve resistance to RoundUp.
Monsanto propaganda insisting that DDT was safe, the true effects of DDT’s toxicity were at last confirmed through outside research and in 1972, DDT was banned throughout the U.S.
promoting the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture with the manufacture of the herbicide 2,4,5-T (one of the precursors to Agent Orange), containing dioxin. Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that since become known as one of the “Dirty Dozen” — persistent environmental pollutants that accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals
Clarence Thomas, former Monsanto attorney who is now a Supreme Court Justice, ruling in favor of Monsanto in every case brought before him.
see how many former Monsanto VPs and legal counsel are now holding positions with the FDA.  LINKS SHOWS CHART OF OVER 20  FDA, EPA, TRADE AND DEFENSE POLICY MAKERS who are also, MONSANTO LAWYERS, V.P, CEO's. 
Jun 6, 2013 7:33PM
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I'm surprised Monsanto hasn't sued the farmer. They have sued others when their seeds have drifted onto farms not using their products. Some farmers have lost their farms.

 

Also, it is illegal for a farmer to save seeds from a Monsanto seed crop so they don't have to buy seed the following planting. They have to buy new seeds from Monsanto for every planting. If that isn't against what nature intends, I don't know what is.

Jun 7, 2013 11:59AM
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How many Destructive and Evil Corporations NOW  that we formally thought were" Good American Companies" are being supported by Americans in their stock portfolios + their paid Washington cronies.Wall Street ,the home to companies like "Monsatan" is becoming a center of evil Corporatism making money off of suffering destruction and death more and more .Wall Street +K Street= Death to Main Street We the people need to stand up and demand this to stop
Jun 7, 2013 2:07PM
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Republicans protect Monsanto from regulation.

Result- Monsanto is poisoning us to death with GMO grains/seeds and related herbicides.

Jun 7, 2013 2:08PM
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Monsanto exemplifies why we need to end capitalism.
Jun 7, 2013 2:05PM
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Monsanto's poisoning of our food supply + wage-busting/low wages/corporate outsourcing + unaffordable FOR-PROFIT healthcare, rx drugs, energy, gasoline, electricity etc

IS POPULATION REDUCTION BY KILLING OUR BIRTH RATES TO TODAY'S RECORD LOW BIRTH RATES.

Capitalism is our suicide.

Jun 6, 2013 3:33PM
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Looks like some treehuggers got hold of the bad wheat and planted it there just to hurt Monsanto and US exports.
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