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GMO Wheat: How Odd That Stray Wheat Gene Seems June 7, 2013

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

When I study the details of the GMO wheat in Oregon, I scratch my head (yes, I know, the science mind doesn’t take over quickly for me). The news broke in expected fear mongering fashion as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported the detection of Roundup Ready® wheat earlier this week in a single field in Oregon.

To better understand the circumstances surrounding the situation I listed details in bullets (because my rational mind assesses it better this way). Things seem odd.

A variety of foods made from wheat.

A variety of foods made from wheat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Specific to the glyphosate-resistant gene (and to give me my mental framework on this issue) …


To help me frame the pollination issue as it relates to wheat and location of the discovered GM wheat…

To understand APHIS oversight role in this issue …

Personally, as of right now, it just seems odd to me that some lab samples of this Roundup Ready resistant wheat would turn up in an Oregon farm field when it’s so hard for wheat to cross-pollinate beyond a 30-foot pollen drift. And, that this would occur after nearly a decade shut-down of Monsanto’s efforts to produce biotech wheat.

Monsanto has created a Wheat resource page for anyone to keep track of the issue.

Continuing to watch this unfold will be interesting.


Sources: USDA’s APHIS, Monsanto public statements on the issue, news reports and discussion with wheat farmers and industry experts.

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1. Keith Reding - June 7, 2013

Puzzling isn’t it. This is a very nice summary.

2. @QCFarm - June 18, 2013

Thanks for your concise reporting. Keep up the good work.@