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Genetically Altered Wheat Found in E. Oregon “Isolated Incident” Says USDA

USDA says genetically-altered wheat an isolated incident.
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Some good news for soft white wheat farmers.

A United States Department of Agriculture spokesman said Friday the strain of genetically-altered wheat found in an Eastern Oregon field earlier this spring appears to be confined to that one area, and has not spread.

A farmer found strains of the wheat on an 80-acre parcel, and notified authorities.  Due to various trade agreements and concerns over health and safety,  genetically-altered wheat is not allowed to be exported and is not traded on world markets.

The USDA launched the investigation after the discovery.  Foreign wheat markets where U.S. crops were sent to had suspended shipments until the USDA report came out.   Monsanto has experimented with such a wheat variety in Eastern Oregon, but those tests were stopped in 2005, and the wheat was never cleared for further development.

The USDA news release said officials would continue to investigate how the genetically-altered wheat might have gotten into the field.


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