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USDA Detects GMO Wheat in Oregon

14:05PM May 29, 2013

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that test results of plant samples from an Oregon farm indicate the presence of genetically modified (GMO) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants. Further testing by USDA laboratories indicates the presence of the same GMO glyphosate-resistant wheat variety that Monsanto was authorized to field test in 16 states from 1998 to 2005. APHIS launched a formal investigation after being notified by an Oregon State University scientist that initial tests of wheat samples from an Oregon farm indicated the possible presence of GMO glyphosate-resistant wheat plants. There are no GMO wheat varieties approved for sale or in commercial production in the U.S. or elsewhere at this time.

USDA reminded this does not pose a food safety concern, but says it is taking the situation "very seriously" and have launched a formal investigation. "The Plant Protection Act (PPA) provides for substantial penalties for serious infractions. Should APHIS determine that this situation was the result of a violation of the PPA, APHIS has the authority to seek penalties for such a violation including civil penalties up to $1,000,000 and has the authority to refer the matter for criminal prosecution, if appropriate," states APHIS on the matter.

Click here for a factsheet from APHIS on the investigation.