Monsanto has been accused of gross negligence in a lawsuit filed by a farmer in Kansas. Ernest Barnes, a wheat grower in Morton County, Kansas, filed the suit in U.S. District Court alleging that he and other wheat farmers have been harmed financially due to Monsanto’s negligence.
Barnes and other farmers noticed that genetically engineered wheat had contaminated the non-genetically modified wheat population. The experimental genetically modified wheat was found in an Oregon field. No one knows how widespread the wheat has become. It has also put U.S. wheat export sales at risk.
Buyers have backed away from buying wheat. South Korean and Japan have suspended wheat purchases. The European Union says it will be testing all shipments of wheat and will block any that contain genetically engineered food. The European Commission has numerous safeguards in place for the welfare of the people in regards to genetically modified foods. Regulation on genetically modified foods and feed include risk assessment, clear labelling, and measures that avoid contamination.
Monsanto has not ruled out the possibility that the contaminated wheat found in Oregon was sabatoge. The corporation is claiming the incident is an isolated one. Representatives of Monsanto, Co. said that the wheat was a “random, isolated occurrence,” and that it could have been “an accidental or purposeful mixing of seed.” The company is not ruling out any possibilities.
There are no strains of genetically modified wheat approved in any country including the U.S. Monsanto is running tests on the wheat found in Oregon. Representatives of the company claim that they have the only reliable test to detect whether the crops have been contaminated and other tests done by independent agencies could turn up false positives.
The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) says it is too early to lay blame about the contaminated wheat.
Melissa Kessler, director of communications for NAWG, said in a statement, “In our view, it is premature to find fault or lay blame regarding this situation and only serves as a distraction to what is truly important. NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates remain committed to working with APHIS to learn more details about how this situation may have occurred and with our international customers to help them maintain access to a reliable supply of high quality American wheat.”
Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.