On Friday May 31st, NBC News posted a report from Reuters that South Korea has suspended wheat imports after the discovery of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Wheat growing in a fallowed field of an Oregon farmer. Problem is, Monsanto only field-tested the strain until May, 2004 when the Canadian Wheat Board, then the world’s largest grain seller, informed Monsanto it’s 10 largest red spring wheat buyers, including Japan, the U.K. and Malaysia, wouldn’t buy modified (genetically altered) varieties of wheat.
Out of market concerns Monsanto pulled their GM Roundup Ready Wheat from the USDA’s approval process. So how did this discontinued strain of Monsanto wheat end up on a farm in Oregon nine years after the company stopped working with this strain? Has this modified strain found its way into the commercial wheat crop?
On such concerns, Japan too has suspended imports of western-white wheat from the U.S., and canceled an order while the USDA is sending investigators to undisclosed locations throughout the western United States. The story is just beginning and the weeks ahead could prove challenging for the U.S. agriculture business and Monsanto. [Read more…]