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Wheat prices plummet after discovery of Monsanto GMO rogue wheat in a field

Posted by on May. 31, 2013 at 1:22 PM
  • 83 Replies
May 30, 2013 11:18 am  •  

WASHINGTON • Wheat prices tanked Thursday after Japan suspended imports from the U.S., citing the discovery of Monsanto-developed wheat growing in an Oregon field.

Japan, the biggest buyer of U.S. wheat behind Mexico, said Thursday it was suspending all wheat imports from the U.S. and canceling a purchase of 24,926 metric tons of white wheat.

The European Commission separately said it had contacted Creve Coeur-based Monsanto, the world’s largest seedmaker, seeking a method to detect its gene-altered wheat. It also advised its member countries to test imports from the U.S.

The news pushed prices lower on commodity markets, where wheat is headed for its biggest monthly loss since February. Wheat futures for July delivery fell 0.6 percent, settling at $6.9875 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The disclosure of the rogue wheat, announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stoked new concerns about the effectiveness of oversight of the U.S. biotech industry.

Scientists said the wheat growing in Oregon was a strain tested from 1998 to 2005 by Monsanto, which withdrew its application for approval amid concern buyers would avoid U.S. crops.

USDA says it is investigating how the unapproved seeds slipped out and were growing nine years after Monsanto ended its wheat program.

The issue is critical to U.S. growers. Unauthorized releases of biotech products such as corn and rice have been costly to U.S. farmers and shippers in the past, according to a 2008 Government Accountability Office study of six unintentional releases of genetically modified products.

The 2000 release of Aventis’s StarLink corn cost as much as $288 million in lost revenue and a year-long drop in the grain’s price, the GAO reported. The 2006 release of Bayer’s Liberty Link rice cost as much as $1.29 billion in lost exports, food recalls and other expenses, the GAO said, citing an environmental advocacy group. Bayer agreed last year to pay $750 million to settle claims with about 11,000 U.S. farmers.

Government investigators are tracking the wheat plants’ origin and assuring trade partners the exposure is limited and poses no threat to human health, said Michael Firko, acting deputy administrator at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. No evidence exists that the unapproved wheat has entered the commercial food or feed supply, he said.

“We are taking this very seriously,” Firko says. “We have a very active investigation going on in several states in the western U.S.”

Other overseas buyers are likely to follow Japan’s lead in canceling imports, according to critics including the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Center for Food Safety.

“This will have an impact worldwide, because our trading partners do not want genetically modified wheat,” Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union in New York, said in an interview. “This crop may be safe to eat, or it may not be. We don’t know because we haven’t done the proper scrutiny.”

The discovery of the gene-altered crop came after an Oregon farmer who attempted to kill wheat using Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide found several plants survived, the USDA said Wednesday.

Monsanto said the Oregon discovery is isolated and shouldn’t concern consumers or trading partners. The company halted plans to develop modified wheat in May 2004 after the Canadian Wheat Board, then the world’s largest grain seller, said its 10 biggest red spring-wheat importers, including Japan, Britain and Malaysia, wouldn’t accept the varieties.

The wheat discovered in Oregon was bred to resist glyphosate, the key ingredient of Roundup. The product permits farmers to kill unwanted plants without endangering the crop developed to resist it, which the company markets as Roundup Ready.

“There are no food, feed, or environmental safety concerns associated with the presence of the Roundup Ready gene if it is found to be present in wheat,” Monsanto said in a statement. “This is the first report of the Roundup Ready trait being found out of place since Monsanto’s commercial development program was discontinued nine years ago.”

The renegade wheat was discovered amid a revival of opposition to genetically engineered foods. Activists rallied in 36 countries on May 25 for a March Against Monsanto, arguing that the company is trying to overturn disclosure laws in the European Union and engineered legal protections for its crops in the U.S. omnibus spending bill in March.

Monsanto shares closed Thursday at $104.97, down 45 cents.

by on May. 31, 2013 at 1:22 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Healthystart30
by Gold Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:11 PM
2 moms liked this
I feel bad for the farmers, especially the one that did the right thing and contacted someone right away! But I hope more people will rally against Monsanto and other corporations like it!
Talee
by Gold Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:27 PM
1 mom liked this

Seriously wonder how the heck it got into the field.

krysstizzle
by on May. 31, 2013 at 2:38 PM

BUMP!

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:41 PM
4 moms liked this

Crazy. I am glad the world could put pressure on us about this. Because obviously Monsanto has our congressmen in their pockets.

If Monsanto had the power of other countries that it does over US we would see a New Monsanto Protection act where if something like this happened we would all need to ignore it and pretended it didn't happen and go on our marry way.

Hopefully this helps serves as a wake up call to take a serious look at these issues.

And to make matters worse:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/business/global/japan-and-south-korea-bar-us-wheat-imports.html

Japan and South Korea Bar U.S. Wheat Imports


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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

romanceparty4u
by Bronze Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:46 PM
1 mom liked this


Just wait til you see the price of food containing wheat go up in the US, and the economy will take even a harder slam in the US. This was a crisis they themselves created. It will likely turn out to impact more than just food. Thanks to the asshat that is protecting them!

Quoting brookiecookie87:

Crazy. I am glad the world could put pressure on us about this. Because obviously Monsanto has our congressmen in their pockets.

If Monsanto had the power of other countries that it does over US we would see a New Monsanto Protection act where if something like this happened we would all need to ignore it and pretended it didn't happen and go on our marry way.

Hopefully this helps server as a wake up call to take a serious look at these issues.



rfurlongg
by on May. 31, 2013 at 2:48 PM
I feel sad for the wheat farmers, but I hope this is a wake up call.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Middlemom32
by Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:48 PM
2 moms liked this
I'm always amazed at how many farmers are willing to pay extra for Monsanto seeds. It seems ridiculous to pay extra to make a product that few people want and no one would pay a premium for. It makes no economic sense to me, but then again I'm not that smart.
I do know, in all the years I lived overseas, very few countries will import GMO's. Mostly American companies buy it, and they don't pay a lot for it.
It's a little like you paying a thousand dollars for a Walmart shirt when you could be wearing Alexander McQueen, it is incomprehensible to me.
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:50 PM
1 mom liked this

 


Quoting romanceparty4u:

 

Just wait til you see the price of food containing wheat go up in the US, and the economy will take even a harder slam in the US. This was a crisis they themselves created. It will likely turn out to impact more than just food. Thanks to the asshat  those asshats that is protecting them! None of our elected officials work alone.

Quoting brookiecookie87:

Crazy. I am glad the world could put pressure on us about this. Because obviously Monsanto has our congressmen in their pockets.

If Monsanto had the power of other countries that it does over US we would see a New Monsanto Protection act where if something like this happened we would all need to ignore it and pretended it didn't happen and go on our marry way.

Hopefully this helps server as a wake up call to take a serious look at these issues.

 

 


 

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Marketing works, otherwise companies wouldn't spend zillions of dollars on it. 

Quoting Middlemom32:

I'm always amazed at how many farmers are willing to pay extra for Monsanto seeds. It seems ridiculous to pay extra to make a product that few people want and no one would pay a premium for. It makes no economic sense to me, but then again I'm not that smart.
I do know, in all the years I lived overseas, very few countries will import GMO's. Mostly American companies buy it, and they don't pay a lot for it.
It's a little like you paying a thousand dollars for a Walmart shirt when you could be wearing Alexander McQueen, it is incomprehensible to me.


 

Middlemom32
by Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:53 PM
Yeah, but you would think the marketing would fail after the first year when they realize they can't make a profit off of this? Or maybe they are?


Quoting UpSheRises:

Marketing works, otherwise companies wouldn't spend zillions of dollars on it. 


Quoting Middlemom32:

I'm always amazed at how many farmers are willing to pay extra for Monsanto seeds. It seems ridiculous to pay extra to make a product that few people want and no one would pay a premium for. It makes no economic sense to me, but then again I'm not that smart.
I do know, in all the years I lived overseas, very few countries will import GMO's. Mostly American companies buy it, and they don't pay a lot for it.
It's a little like you paying a thousand dollars for a Walmart shirt when you could be wearing Alexander McQueen, it is incomprehensible to me.



 


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