American wheat farmers are outraged over the recent discovery of unapproved genetically-modified (GM) wheat growing in Oregon, and one Kansas wheat farmer has decided to go on the offensive by suing the company responsible for this impetuous crime: Monsanto. Farmer Ernest Barnes of Morton County, located in Kansas’ southwest corner, says he and many other wheat farmers throughout the state and across the country are losing profits thanks to Monsanto’s recklessness, and that justice needs to be served.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that an eastern Oregon wheat farmer found Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM wheat, which was never approved for commercial use, growing wild in his conventional wheat fields. Monsanto reportedly conducted test trials of GM wheat across the U.S. back in the late 1990s, but ended these trials after its product was wholly rejected by the industry and consumers. But the vagrant crop suddenly showed up out of the blue recently, which has harmed the U.S. wheat export market in a major way.
You see, the rest of the civilized world views GMOs with far more skepticism and scrutiny than the U.S. does. Many countries require GMOs to be labeled, for instance, and some have flat-out banned GMOs on the basis that there has never been any long-term studies verifying their safety in humans. So as you can imagine, news that GM wheat had escaped and potentially contaminated large portions of the American wheat crop sent countries like Japan and South Korea, which are major wheat importers, running for the hills.
As a result, American wheat farmers, who never agreed to have their crops or their businesses wrecked by Monsanto’s insane recklessness, are now suffering financially and they want answers. Regardless of whether or not Monsanto intentionally released the unapproved GM wheat into the wild is irrelevant – this Monsanto-owned, patented product, which is not legally permitted for planting on U.S. soil, is turning up there, which means the biotechnology giant is fully responsible for any and all resulting damage.