On May 29, the US government confirmed that unapproved GE wheat was discovered in a field in Oregon. GE wheat is not approved or grown anywhere in the world. The US government has increased its investigation but has still not been able to identify the source of contamination.
Meanwhile, a Kansas wheat farmer has filed a civil lawsuit against Monsanto, seeking compensation for damages caused by the discovery which sent wheat export futures prices spiralling downward. “Consider the liability issues. Why is a biotech company such as Monsanto allowed to get away with setting loose their unapproved genetic material via experimental field tests and yet pay none of the consequences when it escapes? The market impacts of contamination are always borne by farmers who had no say in whether, how, or where these field tests took place. This is an injustice and it is not acceptable.” said Glenn Tait of the National Farmers Union Canada.
Asian and European markets are now testing US shipments for contamination – no contamination has yet been found in US exports and no contamination has been found in Canada.
Monsanto stocks declined, the biggest drop since Oct. 31, 2011.