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Friday, May 31, 2013

Thanks Monsanto!

Japan shut down imports of Oregon grown soft white wheat yesterday after Genetically Modified Wheat was discovered.
The wheat was apparently discovered by a farmer who applied Glyphosate to a field and discovered a significant amount of wheat which did not die.
The farmer reported this to his local extension agent who sent samples on for testing.
Monsanto did test trials of Round-Up resistant wheat in 2000.
My neighbor reported that Portland had stopped accepting wheat yesterday and would not make contracts for this summer's crop.
Soft White Wheat is the type of wheat grown in the Willamette Valley of which I am a resident. This is somewhat of a niche market. The wheat goes almost exclusively for noodles and pastry. 
It is a big deal...
The questions which are unanswered by news organizations are as follows:
1. Liability-I don't care if GMO is good or bad, what the customer wants is what makes the sale.
2. How did it escape the test plots?  You first have to realize no one wants GMO wheat here. If Japan won't buy it we do not want to grow it. So it is most likely not a result of someone saving seed.
It could have come from seed left over from the test plots but I don't really see how. Most wheat is sold by variety. I could see contaminated seed if it was of the same variety as the test plots but the resistant wheat is supposed to have showed up in fallow ground which was supposed to have been killed out.
3. Does GMO really cross pollenate? 
4. What do we do about it?
It is pretty common knowledge that there is Round-up resistant bluegrass all over Eastern Oregon at this point. They escaped from test plots set up by Scotts company and spread and they keep on spreading.
We did some yield plots for Monsanto years ago when we were early adopters of Round-Up resistant Corn seed.
I had some one connected with the seed industry tell me once that the "plan" was to just get GMO into the grain handling system so that it would be impossible to prove anything is NOT GMO. I sort of laughed at this until I saw photos of Non GMO corn fields sprayed with Round-up and 10-20 percent of the corn still standing.


  1. It's everywhere. Feeling kinda resistant myself...

  2. That's why I'm all for labeling EVERY ingredient in EVERY product, so the market could drive GMO or non-GMO.

  3. Unwanted GMO may be the new mad cow. Monsanto has already lost $2 billion in market value.

  4. Been there, done that with flax a few years ago. Just google "triffid flax". I don't know whether to laugh or cry every time some bean counter comes up with miniscule amounts of some insignificant gene where it shouldn't be. Guess what, I have chemical resistant wild oats now in one of my fields. Were those wild oats genetically modified by Monsanto or some other chemical company? No. It developed naturally after years of using the same group of herbicides to control wild oats. Whose fault? My own. And I'll deal with it.

  5. You might also consider that someone from another area that grows this type of wheat now has more access to the Japan market. I don't understand the dynamics but could a competitor spread the junk without being caught?

    It could be the kind of thing that Microsoft seems to do with their programs.

    Grace and peace

  6. If I were the farmer who found resistant wheat in my summer fallow I would have switched to the COVER CROP DISK and confined my rantings against Monsanto to other people's blogs.
    And I would have switched to growing Oats...
    But then again I'm a bit of a cynic.
    See nothing, say nothing! That is my motto, or at least when it comes to real issues...


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