It almost sounds like the opening scene of a bestselling thriller:
A “rogue” strain of experimental, unapproved genetically modified wheat is found in a field in Oregon. No one knows how it got there or whether it’s present in other fields. Federal authorities are investigating.
The scenario above, of course, is not fiction. It really did happen this week. And it really could have important consequences for U.S. wheat farmers; some countries that import U.S. wheat could impose restrictions.
Here’s what U.S. Wheat Associates, which develops export markets for American wheat, said about the situation.
“There is no reason for governments to establish a restriction on U.S. wheat as the USDA made it clear yesterday that there is no evidence suggesting that this material has entered commercial supplies and that there is no health risk associated with it.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has a “fact sheet” on what’s happening in Oregon. Here’s the link: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/biotechnology/2013/faq_brs_ge_wheat_detection.pdf.