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GMO Wheat Discovery Yields Lawsuit

Kansas Wheat farmer takes action against Monsanto for unauthorized GM wheat

Published on: Jun 5, 2013

A Kansas wheat farmer Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against Monsanto for gross negligence in the wake of the USDA's discovery of a genetically engineered volunteer wheat plant in Oregon believed to possess Monsanto's glyphosate-resistant trait.

The farmer says the discovery caused wheat export futures to sink, and is seeking compensation for the damages suffered.

"Monsanto has failed our nation's wheat farmers," said Stephen Susman, an attorney handling the case. "We believe Monsanto knew of the risks its genetically altered wheat posed and failed to protect farmers and their crops from those risks."

Kansas Wheat farmer takes action against Monsanto for unauthorized GM wheat
Kansas Wheat farmer takes action against Monsanto for unauthorized GM wheat

However, Monsanto maintains that the wheat, if found to possess the company's Roundup Ready trait without doubt, still poses no risk to the human food chain. In a statement the company says it is prepared to "provide any technical help" possible in determining the source of the GE wheat.

Testing continues

While a team of researchers remains in Oregon to find out more about how the GM wheat got there, Reuters reports that the USDA has expanded the staff on hand from 9 to 15.

"We are doing everything we can to keep foreign markets open to U.S. wheat and wheat products," Darci Vetter, USDA acting under secretary for Farm and Agricultural Services said late last week.

Vetter explained USDA was working to make available a validated test "in case some of our trading partners want further reassurance that this product is not in commerce."

Monsanto also offered up its validated testing method to detect the original Roundup Ready wheat trait to the USDA and government regulators in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the European Union.

The company said the test, which was designed in line with global testing protocols, is more reliable than currently available tests designed for testing other crops since it pinpoints the specific trait in question.

"We have cooperated with the USDA and other regulatory authorities so that they can continue to have full confidence in U.S. wheat exports," said Philip Miller, vice president of Regulatory Affairs for Monsanto.

"While the USDA has noted that they have no evidence that the original Roundup Ready wheat trait has entered commerce, our support is aimed at ensuring that the U.S. wheat industry and wheat farmers do not experience disruptions in exports."

But Japan, South Korea and the European Union have already committed to more testing of U.S. imports, despite USDA and Monsanto assurance that the wheat is safe.

Monsanto has created a specific webpage to address GMO wheat concerns at

GE Wheat Investigation Will Take Time, USDA Says
USDA Identifies GE Glyphosate-Resistant Volunteer Wheat

Add Comment
  1. Anonymous says:

    If Monsanto wasn't pulling shenanigans, it wouldn't have had the Monsanto Immunity language Anonymously inserted into the continuing Budget bill (as I recall), and wouldn't be pushing this un-Constitutional GMO labelling ban inserted into the Farm Bill. We have already seen how the makers of Agent Orange behave following Nam. They know how that wheat got there! It is time to put a stop to Monsanto before they put a stop to US. N.B. You can grow all the GMO corn you want, but if Europe, Asia and Africa don't want GMO corn - and they don't - where are you going to sell it?? For how much?? Plus it has already failed in the Upper Midwest this past Season. BTW: Commenters, and most people in general, have the Facts wrong in the Indiana case. The planting was not intentional (he bought elevator seed) and the SCOTUS ruling is at odds with its Copyright ruling in Mar/Apr. Copyright rights run 1 sale. So, the Monsanto decision is going to turn the re-sale of anything with patented contents into a nightmare. Imagine Sunbeam coming after you for re-selling a toaster at your garage sale, or GM/Ford for re-selling your car. A nightmare. Wonderful SCOTUS!

  2. Anonymous says:

    We as the people should demand our goverment to Label all foods that has gmo ingredients for our children's Safety and ours. GOD WILL DESTROY THOSE WHO DESTROY THE EARTH....

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is truly interesting about this whole situation is how Monsanto and the USDA will act. Monsanto as we know just won a major court victory that says basically they control the seed and PRODUCT before, during, and after that contains these RR traits. Now in that situation you had someone intentionally planting it. This situation you had a supposidly natural occuring situation. It will be interesting if the courts see the two situations are different or not. One is intentional and one is accidental. End result is the same according to patent law. Patent was used! ... It's why I thought monsanto should of lost their case just purely because how can you patent and control a naturally occuring experience without it "losing" it's protection sometime. Now we see the flip side of that. Are they going to be held responsible for a natural occuring situation that used their patent? And who is going to bear the costs to their patent getting out of control? Monsanto (love ya man) but you can't have your cake and eat it too. TW

  4. S. Turner says:

    It's about time the independent farmer stood his ground against the likes of Monsanto. This action, I cannot believe otherwise, was deliberate. After reading about Monsanto's tactics in several books over the past five years, all of which came with extensive bibliographies, I have no doubt that this was planned. The same thing happened in Brazil. They want control of the food supply--and are willing to do anything, absolutely anthing, to achieve that end. They are an example of how capitalism and the free market system, if left untethered, can be deleterious to the common good. In fact, such action reinforces the adage that "business does not honor life." Touche to the farmer--someone must hear the voices of the common people--WE DON'T WANT THIS!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to the idiot farmers who have just increased my production costs. Cut your own throat comes to mind. Why does everyone think that a lawsuit is the solution?

    • S. Turner says:

      Please keep your personal vendettas off the table. It is so typical of a bully--scream, shout profanities, engage in namecalling. Your productions costs are going to go up anyway--don't you know that--they don't want you making a decent living; the bio chemical companies want to make you serfs. Do your research....

  6. Anonymous says:

    if the courts were truly fair & equitable the Farmer should win - monsanto has influence in government that may sway things in their favor - lets keep tuned in

    • S. Turner says:

      The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Monsanto with the case of the Indiana farmer. Congress also, at the stroke of midnight when no one was looking, passed "the Monsanto Act". Most of the public, however, especially consumers, farmers, and gardeners, want their lives back--safe, healthy, and possible. Europe has banned all GMOs, India's Supreme Court recently ruled against Novartis (if I'm not mistaken, also owned by Monsanto). Brazil tried to ban the gmo's, but somehow these corn and soybeans just "ended up" in somebody's farm. Now they think they can do it here....we must fight...and not buy. McDonald's is a good place to start...just not buy anything that isn't labeled whether it's a gmo or not. Whole Foods has already implemented a label policy--other companies will follow.