No GMO wheat found in Washington

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Washington State University researchers have tested all the university’s wheat varieties, as well as others around the Northwest, and found none with the genetically modified herbicide resistance discovered in an Oregon crop this spring.

WSU’s tests involved wheat varieties developed at the university, at sister universities and by two of the three largest commercial wheat seed companies in the Pacific Northwest. Among them were nearly 50 commercially grown varieties from WSU, the University of Idaho and Oregon State University, including new WSU varieties such as Otto, Puma, Sprinter, Glee, Diva and Dayn and 24 varieties from Westbred/Monsanto and Limagrain Cereal Seeds.

The time-consuming process also included 1,900 advanced breeding lines from WSU programs and more than 20,000 individual plots.

The tests involved growing seed, spraying infant plants with the herbicide glyphosate and conducting molecular testing if necessary. None of the plants showed the transgenic glyphosate resistance found in the fields of an as-yet-unnamed Oregon farmer.

Late last month, the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said grain tests and interviews with several hundred farmers found no other instances of glyphosate resistant crops.

"WSU undertook its own investigation as part of its commitment to serving Northwest farmers and the agricultural industry as a whole,” said James Moyer, director of WSU’s Agricultural Research Center.

The level of collaboration and cooperation in the WSU testing from Pacific Northwest universities and major industry partners was unprecedented and reflects the common interest and goal of determining whether the genetically modified wheat discovered in Oregon was an isolated case or if the industry had a larger problem. WSU’s data clearly suggests this was an isolated case, Moyer said.

"Although WSU is not conducting research on wheat with the same properties as the variety found in Oregon, any unusual or unauthorized plant quality in the supply chain warrants a thorough assessment by all participants to maintain the confidence of Washington trading partners and consumers,” he said.

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Fla  |  August, 09, 2013 at 06:46 PM

That sound good but what about the products that has already infiltrated the marketplace? What will become of them? I am sure nobody wants to lose their invested money which means consumers are still in trouble.

Steve Savage    
Encinitas, CA  |  August, 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Eve, The plants came up in a fallow field. It is most likely that none ever made it into commercial channels. Consumers would not have been in any "trouble" anyway. The trait was on the verge of approval but Japanese and EU importers told the US and Canadian wheat growers that they would boycott all North American wheat if any commercial biotech wheat was planted. They reluctantly asked Monsanto and Syngenta (who had a disease resistant wheat) to halt commercialization. These would have been just as safe as any other biotech crop and far more rigorously tested than any conventionally modified wheat

Missouri  |  August, 12, 2013 at 04:27 PM

Steve: Eve is an anti-GMO activist. You can always tell by the way they respond with "yeah, but" to any news about GMO's that does not help their cause and then proceed to raise another whining objection......"yeah, but"......."yeah, but"......"yeah, but". There is nothing you can say or share with them that will satisfy them other than outlawing modern, science based ag production.

Canada  |  August, 13, 2013 at 08:50 AM

Industry standards and regulatory protocols have been breached. BIO-ETS and USDA APHIS should not let this just go away. Unintentional release of regulated GMO material is prohibited.

Canada  |  August, 13, 2013 at 08:57 AM

If you say it, it's so? "Trouble", "just as safe", "verge of approval" are vague references to a serious release of regulated material into the environment. We sue people, ruin their lives for using our technology without paying. Isn't it just as serious when we break rules?

Missouri  |  August, 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Got hyperbole? (And change your one is buying your implied association with Monsanto.

Canada  |  August, 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

No. These are facts, no exaggeration. The regulatory folks speak one way and act another, sweeping it under the rug when a release occurs. Sorry if the truth hits home. The "modern, science based ag production" you refer to is regulated as is the R&D to produce the material. If we break our own rules it is hardly good science. Signed, Monsanto.

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