Glyphosate-Resistant Wheat Incidents
On May 29, 2013, APHIS announced that it confirmed the presence of genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants at a farm in Oregon. Testing by USDA laboratories indicated it was the same variety of GE glyphosate-resistant wheat that Monsanto was authorized to field test in 16 states from 1998 to 2005. APHIS launched a formal investigation after being notified by an Oregon State University scientist that initial tests of wheat samples from an Oregon farm indicated the possible presence of GE glyphosate-resistant wheat plants.
After conducting a thorough and scientifically detailed investigation into the detection last year of GE wheat growing in a single field on a single farm in Oregon, APHIS concluded that the presence of the GE wheat appeared to be an isolated incident. On September 26, 2014, APHIS announced it was closing the investigation after exhausting all leads. The agency also found no evidence of GE wheat in commerce. Learn more about the Oregon Investigation | CLICK HERE |
APHIS also investigated GE wheat found growing at a research facility that was the previous site of authorized field trials in Montana. GE wheat was field-tested under APHIS’ regulatory approval at the Montana State University’s Southern Agricultural Research Center (SARC) in Huntley, Montana, between 2000 and 2003. Genetic testing showed that the GE wheat at this research facility location is significantly different from the GE wheat found growing at the Oregon in 2013.
APHIS conducted an investigation that confirmed that the wheat was genetically engineered to resist glyphosate. Monsanto and Montana State University/SARC were issued warning letters for failing to adhere to required performance standards for field trials.
Learn more about the Montana Investigation | CLICK HERE |
On July 29, 2016, APHIS announced that it confirmed the discovery by a farmer of 22 GE wheat plants growing in an unplanted agricultural field in Washington State. The GE wheat variety was developed by the Monsanto Company and is referred to as MON 71700, and is resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, commonly referred to as Roundup®. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously evaluated crops containing the CP4-EPSPS protein for safety through its voluntary biotechnology consultation process. Due to the small number of affected plants, and based on the available information about the variety, FDA concluded it is unlikely that the wheat would present any safety concerns if present in the food supply as a result of this incident.
After thoroughly examining the discovery, APHIS was unable to determine how the 22 wheat plants that were volunteering in an unplanted field came to be. In an abundance of caution, APHIS took measures to ensure that no GE wheat moved into commerce by testing the farmers full wheat harvest, all samples were found to be negative for any GE wheat material.
Informational Material Associated with Wheat Incidents
View Changes to Wheat Permitting Requirements | CLICK HERE |