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USDA Boosts Investigation Of Oregon GMO Wheat

Mim Tasters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has increased the number of investigators and field staff looking into the genetically modified wheat found on an Oregon farm. There are now 15 people on the ground in the Northwest, up from nine last week.

In about a month, Northwest wheat farmers will rev up their tractors for harvest. That means USDA investigators have a limited time to figure out how the genetically modified wheat sprouted up.

The wheat in eastern Oregon is up and developing really well. And all that grain has to go somewhere. It’s got to be put in the bins, it’s got to go to the granaries and it’s got to get put on boats and trucks.

If all that backs up it could be a major problem. But at this point farmers are concerned but they’re not ripping out their hair quite yet.

The experimental wheat found by an Oregon farmer is resistant to the herbicide RoundUp and wasn’t supposed to make it into the food chain. So far Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have delayed soft white wheat shipments because of worry about the grain.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.