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USDA Still Investigating GMO Wheat on Oregon Farmqrcode

Sep. 4, 2013

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Sep. 4, 2013
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is still looking into how genetically-engineered wheat ended up on an Oregon farm in a more than three-month-old probe that temporarily disrupted exports of the crop.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) continues to investigate the matter and has no timeline for completing its investigation, said Ed Curlett, a spokesman for the agency.

"We understand the importance of this issue," he stated.

The wheat in question—known as MON71800—was engineered by Monsanto Company and is resistant to the herbicide glyphosate . The presence of the crop on one field appears to be an isolated incident. Monsanto has said the crop may have been planted intentionally by someone other than the farmer, who reported the matter and is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

USDA authorized field tests of the Roundup Ready wheat in 16 states from 1998 through 2005. But Monsanto said it discontinued the program in Oregon 12 years ago.

The investigation led some countries to temporarily suspend wheat imports. Some farmers also have sued Monsanto.

In a July 29 update on the investigation, APHIS revealed it had no evidence that MON71800 is in commerce or located in any of the other 15 states where the field tests were conducted.

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