Who's Ready For Biotech Wheat?

Jul 1, 2013
Grant Gerlock

Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified. But not wheat. That’s why it was so surprising when Roundup-resistant wheat was discovered in an Oregon field last month. The finding triggered an outcry from food safety advocates and an ongoing investigation by the government. As Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media reports, many farmers say they would like biotechnology in wheat to help feed a hungry world, but it’s not what everyone’s hungry for.

The US Department of Agriculture says stalks of genetically modified wheat found in a field in Oregon look to be an isolated incident. In an announcement Friday the agency says its own tests confirm the suspect wheat carries modified genes designed by agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Northwest farmers appear relieved that the government is calling the discovery of genetically modified wheat “a single isolated incident in a single field on a single farm.”

Anna King

There’s been a lot of speculation but few answers so far about how genetically modified wheat ended up in an Oregon field.

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.