“Accidental or Purposeful Mixing” of Seed Likely Source of GM Wheat: Monsanto

Monsanto Company today hosted a conference call to outline what is known and yet to be determined regarding the reported finding of Roundup Ready wheat plants in an Oregon, U.S., field.

The company has published a 13-page presentation, seen here, to outline exactly what is known, what testing has been done and what testing will continue to happen in the coming weeks. International trading partners, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and members of the EU, have all been provided with a gene-specific test and DNA material to use as a control, according to Robb Fraley, chief technology officer with Monsanto.

So far, 60% of the parent material (foundation lines) of the commercial varieties in Oregon have been tested for the CP4/MON71800 gene event. All lines have tested negative. The company says it will continue testing all parent lines.

After careful consideration of the fact trail, the company’s conclusion at this point is the winter wheat plants found in a chem fallow field arrived there through “accidental or purposeful mixing of seed.”

Fraley notes that all possible scenarios will be investigated, thought the company has yet to receive actual plant material from the field to test. The USDA continues its own research into the finding. Monsanto will continue to test commercial lines, and confirms, as does the USDA, that no commercial shipments have been found to contain the event. USDA also notes there is no safety risk to human or animal health.

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