A judicial panel has ruled that lawsuits brought against Monsanto Company regarding genetically modified wheat found in an Oregon farmer’s field, will be consolidated in Kansas.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced that at least 16 lawsuits will be sent to U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil in Kansas City for pretrial evidence gathering.
Lawsuits started to be filed in June after an Oregon farmer found wheat that would not die in his field. After the wheat was tested, it was discovered that it contained a gene that allowed it to withstand Monsanto’s herbicide glyphosate.
Monsanto had previously field tested a Roundup Ready wheat variety 15 years prior. It remains unknown how the GM variety got into the field since trials haven’t been conducted for many years after Monsanto abandoned the project after trading countries would not accept such wheat.
The GM wheat discovery this year caused multiple wheat importers to stop importing wheat from the United States for several weeks, dropping the price of U.S. wheat.
Some plaintiffs are charging that Monsanto did not do enough to prevent the Roundup Ready wheat from contaminating regular wheat.
Monsanto’s headquarters is in St. Louis, Mo.