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Monsanto: Oregon GMO Wheat Isolated, Not Widespread

Mim Tasters

Agribusiness giant Monsanto says genetically modified wheat found in Oregon could be the result of an accident rather than a widespread planting of the controversial seed. In a call Wednesday morning with reporters, the St. Louis-based company says its provided its specific tests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for use in the investigation.

Robb Fraley, a Monsanto representative, also said that the company has tested 50 varieties of seed stocks in Washington and Oregon to make sure the problem is not more widespread. “It seems to be a random isolated occurrence, more consistent with the accidental or purposeful mixing of a small amount of seed during the planting, harvesting and during the follow cycle in an individual field.”

Monsanto spokespeople also said the correct test to find the gene in plant tissues is very sensitive to error. And the company asserts it follows strict bio-security rules to destroy or account for all seeds and plants.

On the Web:

Q&A: Investigation of genetically engineered wheat - USDA 
Monsanto and GM Wheat- Monsanto

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.