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Illegal Genetically-Engineered Wheat Found on Eastern Oregon Farm

Unapproved genetically altered wheat found in Eastern Oregon
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Although its harmless to eat, a strain of genetically-engineered wheat not approved by the USDA was found on an Oregon farm — but federal officials won’t divulge where.

Largely because of foreign market concerns and organic foods in the U.S. this could have widespread implications. Many foreign countries do not allow genetically engineered or modified foods to be sold. The genetic “contamination” could threaten the purity of organic foods.

Numerous companies guarantee their products are not genetically altered to speed growth or make the plants stronger and disease resistant. USDA officials say the Eastern Oregon farmer found the plants growing on his property a few weeks ago and notified Oregon State University, which then contacted the USDA.

Monsanto did legally test some strains of genetically-engineered wheat in Oregon about 10 years ago by growing a crop, but it was never approved and the testing stopped. This wheat is of the same strain as those 10-year-old crops. USDA officials don’t know how the wheat got mixed in with the farm or where it came from.


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