WASHINGTON (AP) — Monsanto Co. is floating the theory that some of the company’s detractors may have intentionally planted genetically modified wheat discovered in an Oregon field last month.
The St. Louis-based company said in a call with reporters Friday that sabotage is the most likely scenario partly because the modified wheat was not distributed evenly throughout the field and found in patches. Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said that is the “pattern you would expect” if someone had dispersed the seeds.
The Agriculture Department is investigating the discovery of the wheat, which is not approved for farming in the United States. The department has declined to speculate on what caused the wheat to sprout in Oregon but has said it appears to be an isolated incident.
Fraley said suggested that the culprits could be activists who have campaigned against genetically modified foods, which are engineered to include certain traits.
“It’s fair to say there are folks who don’t like biotechnology and would use this to create problems,” he said.
Agriculture Department officials have said the wheat is the same strain as a genetically modified wheat that was designed to be herbicide-resistant and was legally tested by seed giant Monsanto a decade ago but never approved.
Japan, Korea and Taiwan have suspended imports of western white wheat from the Pacific Northwest as the USDA investigates.
Follow Mary Clare Jalonick on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mcjalonick
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The future of one of Wichita's most beloved parks was the topic of discussion this today.
A 4.5 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in central Oklahoma by the U.S. Geological Survey.
A national basketball tournament that's called Hutchinson home for six decades could leave town if improvements aren't made to the sports arena.
As the thermometer shows we're well into winter, ice dams become a potential concern for homeowners.While there's no snow here yet, it likely will be here sooner than later.Knowing what to expect and how to prepare can help prevent future damage.
While many Wichitans are celebrating Nelson Mandela’s life, others ask if the younger generation has a true understanding of who he was. We spoke to students today and found for many, the legacy is something they were never taught.
One of the coldest mornings of the year awaits the thousands of runners planning to take part in Saturday's Jingle Bell Run.