wheat farm

The mysterious GMO Monsanto Roundup Ready wheat found growing in an Oregon field a few weeks ago has led to an expected number of lawsuits from wheat farmers whose sales have been hurt by the discovery.

The first suit came from a farmer in Kansas, accusing Monsanto of negligence leading to the GMO wheat. The latest round, a class action lawsuit, comes from farmers in Idaho, claiming that the discovery has resulted in excessive production costs and lower market prices, which is costing them thousands, if not millions of dollars (should the discoveries continue).

The Huffington Post reports: “Monsanto knew, or should have known, that the existence of genetically-engineered wheat—commingled with the general wheat supply—would cause significant disruptions in the wheat export market, and that such a situation could involve huge disruptions in the wheat trade while imposing additional costs on U.S. wheat farmers and specifically Pacific Northwest soft white wheat farmers. These costs eventually would detrimentally impact worldwide prices for Pacific Northwest soft white wheat, causing significant financial damage to wheat farmers,” attorney Benjamin Schwartzman wrote in the lawsuit.

Countries including Japan, South Korea and EU member countries are limiting their imports of US wheat until further testing proves no contamination with genetically modified wheat.

Monsanto and the USDA continue to investigate the source of GMO wheat in the Oregon farm, which comes from wheat trials planted by Monsanto between 1997 and 2005. The company claims it destroyed all crops when the trials ceased, and has even alleged sabotage as the source of the contamination.

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Image: teresaphilips1965