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GMO Wheat Found Growing Wild In Oregon, Japan Suspends Import From U.S.

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the tired-of-putting-up-with-our-crop dept.

Biotech 679

An anonymous reader writes "NPR reports that an Oregon wheat farmer found a patch of wheat growing where he did not plant. After RoundUp failed to kill the plants, he sent them to a lab for testing. Turns out the wheat in question is a GMO strain created by Monsanto but never sent to market. Oregon field trials for the wheat ended in 2001. 'Nobody knows how this wheat got to this farm. ... After all such trials, the genetically engineered crops are supposed to be completely removed. Also, nobody knows how widely this genetically engineered wheat has spread, and whether it's been in fields of wheat that were harvested for food.' The USDA is currently investigating and says there is no health-risk. Meanwhile, Monsanto has released a statement and Japan has suspended some wheat imports from the U.S. 'The mystery could have implications on wheat trade. Many countries around the world will not accept imports of genetically modified foods, and the United States exports about half of its wheat crop.'"

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679 comments

It's still under investigation (5, Funny)

ranulf (182665) | about a year ago | (#43871251)

We'll have to wheat and see what their report says...

Re:It's still under investigation (0)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year ago | (#43871323)

did you really have to italicize that?

Re:It's still under investigation (5, Funny)

bdleonard (931507) | about a year ago | (#43871409)

Italicize wheat?

Re:It's still under investigation (5, Funny)

ranulf (182665) | about a year ago | (#43871455)

No, but it's an ingrained habit now...

Re:It's still under investigation (5, Funny)

hamburger lady (218108) | about a year ago | (#43871499)

i can barley contain my laughter.

Re:It's still under investigation (4, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year ago | (#43871573)

That was terrible. Maybe you corn try again?

Re:It's still under investigation (5, Funny)

ranulf (182665) | about a year ago | (#43871663)

I seed what you did there... I'm all ears.

Re:It's still under investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871703)

It wood be a good idea if weed end this thread.

Re:It's still under investigation (5, Funny)

Kavafy (1322911) | about a year ago | (#43871769)

You spelt that wrongly.

Re:It's still under investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871861)

You, sir, should get a Nobel prize for that one. You're out standing in your field.

Re:It's still under investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871799)

peas stop! your weeding me out.

Re:It's still under investigation (4, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about a year ago | (#43871869)

lettuce see how long we can drag this out

Re:It's still under investigation (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43871463)

We'll have to wheat and see what their report says...

As my pappy used to say: If you are corn-fused, you might be standing in a wheat field. Then he was killed by a thresher.

Re:It's still under investigation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871525)

0/10. Wheat and wait do not remotely rhyme.

Go away, karma whore.

Re:It's still under investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871793)

You have a very rye sense of humor. I oat to smack you.

Postapocoliptic Nightmare (5, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43871255)

1. Create Genetic Engineered Crops
2. Crops perform better than natural crops, crowding them out both in the marketplace, and in the wild.
3. Profit!
4. Engineered crops later found not suitable for human consumption
5. Famine.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871317)

Seems you got that wrong. They are fine for human consumption but some Luddites are worried that their god didn't create the crops so they won't buy them or eat them. So they starve with plenty of food available.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (5, Interesting)

SargentDU (1161355) | about a year ago | (#43871363)

or those so called Luddites don't like Monsanto's sueing farmers for having their wheat in their fields when the farmers had nothing to do with that happening, causing all kinds of bad feelings for Monsanto from many in the farming communities. Now their wheat is growing in the wild. Is Monsanto going to sue the County it is growing in too, or just the farmer on whose land it is found?

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43871477)

Now their wheat is growing in the wild. Is Monsanto going to sue the County it is growing in too, or just the farmer on whose land it is found?

In this case, it's genuine contamination since it's a version they never released. So Monsanto did a field test, after which they were supposed to destroy all of the plants. Now a bunch of years they find that version out in the wild. I'm pretty sure in this case Monsanto couldn't sue.

If this doesn't point to the fact that this stuff is going to contaminate everything, I don't know what will. I'm of the opinion that unless you grow this stuff under a friggin' dome, it's going to cross-contaminate stuff, simply because wind and insects have been pollinating plants for millions of years and are quite good at it.

And then there's the whole using this shit as food aid and expecting starving farmers in Africa to not keep seeds for next year because of the license agreement they know nothing about.

Hubris and "what could possibly go wrong".

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871535)

In this case, it's genuine contamination since it's a version they never released. So Monsanto did a field test, after which they were supposed to destroy all of the plants. Now a bunch of years they find that version out in the wild.

If that's the case then we don't know if it is safe for human consumption, do we? We don't even know if it's environmentally safe. In fact, if Monsanto did destroy all of it and it came back then we're staring in the face of the first seeds of the Zombie Apocalypse: Zombie Wheat

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43871669)

In this case, it's genuine contamination since it's a version they never released. So Monsanto did a field test, after which they were supposed to destroy all of the plants. Now a bunch of years they find that version out in the wild.

If that's the case then we don't know if it is safe for human consumption, do we? We don't even know if it's environmentally safe. In fact, if Monsanto did destroy all of it and it came back then we're staring in the face of the first seeds of the Zombie Apocalypse: Zombie Wheat

In this case, it's genuine contamination since it's a version they never released. So Monsanto did a field test, after which they were supposed to destroy all of the plants. Now a bunch of years they find that version out in the wild.

If that's the case then we don't know if it is safe for human consumption, do we? We don't even know if it's environmentally safe. In fact, if Monsanto did destroy all of it and it came back then we're staring in the face of the first seeds of the Zombie Apocalypse: Zombie Wheat

We don't know if any new wheat mutant is safe. At any time, nature could have come up with a highly toxic variety. People have kept crops safe for thousands of years by planting edible wheat and destroying the stuff that tasted bad or made people sick. The only danger is that it's possible for a company like Monsanto to produce and sell large amounts of bad crops before it has been thoroughly tested for safety.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (5, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#43871787)

At the bare minimum...

If so many other countries are banning GMO foods, why aren't we in the US seriously considering this? If nothing else, why don't we at least label foods as GMO, so the consumer can decide?

Hell, Bloomberg and others want lables on every french fry that comes out of a fast food joint, why is there so much pushback on the more raw ingredient foodstuffs?

We're gonna start labeling meat from source to shelf, why not GMO foods?

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (4, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43871605)

It's impossible to avoid cross contamination with wheat. Like most grasses, it releases its pollen into the wind and any plant of the same (or close enough) species it falls on will be a hybrid.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (5, Funny)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#43871503)

Obviously this farmer broke into a Monsanto lab, stole the seeds, and then planted it in his farm. This is the ONLY plausible scenario that could have happened.

Signed,
Monsanto Legal Dept.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | about a year ago | (#43871551)

If the farmers found that their plants were roundup proof, used roundup for weed control, and sold the wheat -- then yes, apparently monstanto can win that case. That's not at all the case here.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871643)

Is Monsanto going to sue the County it is growing in too, or just the farmer on whose land it is found?

Meh, whichever one coughs up more money when we tell them to is fine by us. Oh, wait, can we do both? Oooo, yeah, that's what we'll do! And the state, too! Oregon should've known better than to exist where our seeds were falling!

Lovingly,
Monsanto

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871439)

I love how so many people just say "this thing is fine..." without having any actual knowledge of the long term effects. Look through history, people have said "this thing is fine" until the second they realized it caused major problems.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43871629)

I love how ACs come out of the woodwork to spout their "wisdom".

Look through history, people have said "this thing is fine"

Yeah, and "they" have also said that about alot of other stuff and bad stuff has yet to happen for it.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43871655)

"Lead, it just tastes good" - Romans

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43871583)

That it still to be seen. From what I understand Japan, one of the more technically advanced countries on Earth btw, you need many and longitudinal studies (a scientific viewpoint). They are waiting a few generations to see what happens to the rest of us.

In this instance it is Japan that is taking the reasonable and scientific route. We are taking the profit before before everything route.

Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871601)

So if they are fine for human consumption, then why didn't Monsanto sell them?

Wild animals (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871411)

Prosecute Monsanto for failing to keep its wild (animals) under control.

Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act signed (4, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43871265)

http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-bill-blunt-agriculture-006/ [rt.com]

The Senate is considering repealing, I'm sure this will add fuel to the fire. But as it stands Monsanto is imune from liability.

Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (1)

hij (552932) | about a year ago | (#43871367)

I think that you have it backwards. Monsanto's modus operendi is to sue the farmers who have the impertinence to steal this technology from them and allow it to grow on their land. Normally a farmer who allowed these seeds to land on his property would be taken to court and made to pay the fees associated with using the seeds and then not allowed to use the seed without paying the license fees. Damn nature and her propensity to reproduce.

Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871777)

You are missing the point...

This wheat field was reported months ago and it has been under investigation for awhile to figure out what's been going on before it was reported to the public...

While under investigation, Monsanto was tipped off that some of their GM wheat it is not legally able to be grown cross contaminated fields...

Monsanto said oh crap and had a law crafted to protect themselves from being sued while public knowledge of this was being kept quiet..

The same day as new protection act is signed it goes public that this field exists...

Profit!

Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43871839)

Nearly the exact same language was included in a draft Agriculture Appropriations bill in June 2012. If it's a defense from Monsanto, it's not due to a bit of wheat "reported months ago".

Did you really think Congress would move that quickly, even for Monsanto's money? Ha! They're not nearly that competent.

Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#43871523)

Also, for once an article needs a whatdidpossiblygowrong tag instead of a whatcouldpossiblygowrong one.

Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (5, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43871723)

But as it stands Monsanto is imune from liability.

Except that's not actually what the legislation does, but hey... FUD is always good, right?

Really, section 735 just stops the judicial system from interfering with the regulatory process [snopes.com] . This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the courts can't stop farmers from planting questionable crops. On the other hand, the courts can't be abused by farm-sponsored activists to slow down approval for crops that are tested and shown to be perfectly safe. Unfortunately, both of these situations happen routinely.

The article you linked says that the provision "grossly protects biotech corporations such as the Missouri-based Monsanto Company from litigation". However, this statement is incredibly misleading. The provision protects Monsanto from the delays of litigation affecting their product's approval. They're still liable for anything they were last week, but now the court can't say "We don't know what's going on, so we're overruling the experts and banning the scary technology".

Copyright? (5, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#43871269)

So, has the farmer been sued by Monsanto yet for copyright infringement?

Re:Copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871497)

Most likely because Monsanto seems to be a law firm that just happens to sells seeds!

Re:Copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871505)

Patent infringement. Maximum copyright penalty would be $150k - Monsanto wants the phat cash so they go for patent infringement cases.

patent not copyright (1)

nten (709128) | about a year ago | (#43871543)

Last I read, one of their patents is already past its date (2011), and the other is up next year. Monsanto has pubicly stated they will not fight this, which i can only assume means they will have some slightly different strain that will then be patented, and a new herbicide and or pesticide that isn't compatible with the old strain, while they stop producing roundup.

That said, someone will produce roundup, and someone will continue to produce the old strains too. We might see a dramatic uptick in GM crops after next year.

Market forces at work... (2, Interesting)

Geraden (15689) | about a year ago | (#43871275)

THIS may be the proverbial straw that breaks the back of big-business GMO.

If farmers can't sell their wheat, then they will stop buying GMO seed. It's a perfect storm for the way market forces shape products and individual actions.

Re:Market forces at work... (5, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#43871313)

And, while the biotech industry has a serious lobby, the farm lobby is also pretty powerful. It would be interesting to watch evenly matched lobbies instead of the bloodbath we usually get.

Re: Market forces at work... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43871335)

By market forces do you mean foreign powers regulations?

Re: Market forces at work... (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43871403)

By market forces do you mean foreign powers regulations?

Regulations are part of the market.

Unless by "market," you mean "laissez-faire free-market," which would, by definition, be unregulated.

Re: Market forces at work... (1)

Geraden (15689) | about a year ago | (#43871467)

I specifically refrained from saying "Free Market" or any derivative thereof.

The regulatory environment is the field on which the market is set.

Re: Market forces at work... (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about a year ago | (#43871797)

The free-market does allow for damages and protections that modern liberals should take a look at. It's not an "anything goes" perspective. As a matter of fact big business (ie railroads and cattle barons) were against free-market protections for small farmers. You might find that you like those protections better than the top-down, micro-managed system we currently have in place.

Re: Market forces at work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871825)

Regulations are part of the market.

Unless by "market," you mean "laissez-faire free-market," which would, by definition, be unregulated.

Which would also not include such government concepts as intellectual property.

Re:Market forces at work... (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43871343)

The issue of regulation is already one of the biggest problems for GMO. If Monsanto invents a new type of crop they need to get it approved for growing and for human consumption in every market. In the US it isn't so bad because there is just the FDA, but even in Europe it takes much longer and you have to convince many different agencies that it is safe. Then you have to start doing the rest of the world country by country.

That's why Japan immediately halted these imports. Even if the FDA or whoever in the US says this stuff is okay to eat the are, of course, going to want to determine that for themselves.

Re:Market forces at work... (1)

rmstar (114746) | about a year ago | (#43871625)

In the US it isn't so bad because there is just the FDA, but even in Europe it takes much longer and you have to convince many different agencies that it is safe. Then you have to start doing the rest of the world country by country.

You forgot to mention that very few of these agencies want to approve it.

Fact is, GMO seems creepy to lots and lots of people, so they don't want it. It does not help at all that Monsanto is a very creepy company that chose to deploy GMO in a particularly creepy way ("roundup ready"). Due to Monsanto, GMO crops are mainly associated with stuff that is right only according to the laws they more or less wrote themselves (with the aid of the WTO etc), but seems wrong to pretty much anybody else. So anytime a good excuse appears imports of GMO crops will be halted by many countries.

Re:Market forces at work... (1, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43871767)

The issue of regulation is already one of the biggest problems for GMO. If Monsanto invents a new type of crop they need to get it approved for growing and for human consumption in every market. In the US it isn't so bad because there is just the FDA, but even in Europe it takes much longer and you have to convince many different agencies that it is safe. Then you have to start doing the rest of the world country by country.

That's why Japan immediately halted these imports. Even if the FDA or whoever in the US says this stuff is okay to eat the are, of course, going to want to determine that for themselves.

Japan's reaction is ridiculous, and blatant protectionism. A tiny amount of GMO contamination in 2 billion bushels isn't a crisis.

Re:Market forces at work... (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43871393)

They're not buying GMO seed. They can't stop, because they never started in the first place. This is not something that Monsanto is selling for use. It is a lab strain that showed up in the wild.

Re:Market forces at work... (1)

Geraden (15689) | about a year ago | (#43871539)

That's true.

Haven't Monsanto's patent claims hinged, at least partly, on the fact that their wheat has larger yields and thus give greater profits to the farmer?

If a farmer is unable to sell his wheat crops, or if the price of his crop was damaged due to encroachment of GMO DNA into his crop, I wonder if he would be able to "strike first" at Monsanto, claiming damage due to Monsanto's negligent release of the strain!

Again, I'm sure someone['s lawyers] will make millions...

Re:Market forces at work... (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43871637)

But the ones who buy GMO seed are having no difficulties, it is ones who do not that go bankrupt.

Re:Market forces at work... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43871727)

Just thank stockholders that Monsanto doesn't sell its patents to the likes of scan-to-email trolls. Then you'd plant what you buy at the grain elevator and the owners of the patent would come after you when your seeds do what they are made to do. Oh Wait!

Ethanol. (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year ago | (#43871283)

Now the US can take all that wheat they can't sell and turn it to ethanol. Ethanol is a great idea I'm sure they will make tons of money.

Re:Ethanol. (2)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43871417)

Ethanol is a great idea. Especially diluted to 5%-40% by volume and served in large quantities! Yes. It's Friday again.

heh (3, Funny)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about a year ago | (#43871297)

How long until Monsanto sues the state of Oregon?

(and no I'm not serious)

Re-heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871353)

How long until Monsanto sues the state of Oregon?

(and no I'm not serious)

You are not serious. But they will be.

Re:Re-heh (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871531)

No, Oregon has a lawsuit against Monsanto. Was this wheat ever approved for consumption or was it just approved for growing? Either way Japan at least is not buying Oregon Wheat and the contamination is from a discontinued crop from *12 years ago*!?! Monsanto's fucked, Oregon is just the right mix of Portland Hippies and Rural Rednecks to kick those assholes square in the manjunk for this move - it's a bipartisan agreement. As much as I think people are irrationally scared of GMOs I definitely want to see them taken to task for this.

Impact on Monsanto vs unlicensed farmer lawsuits? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871305)

From what I understand Monsanto regularly successfully sues farmers found to have patches of their genetic intellectual property growing in their fields. If a product that never made it to market is self-seeding - does this not suggest that all of their previous success in arguing that their product should be controlled by the farmers fall apart?

Re:Impact on Monsanto vs unlicensed farmer lawsuit (1)

Geraden (15689) | about a year ago | (#43871347)

Interesting point.

It'll make someone ('s lawyers) millions, I'm sure!

It was intentional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871311)

1. Monsanto wants all wheat to be cross bred with their patented GM version so they can collect royalties on all wheat.
2. Economic terrorist hoping to create kaos in the farming industry.
3. Wheat export competitor hoping japan and similar countries turn away from the US food source.
4. Someone who owns wheat commodities hoping this increases its value.

Nobody knows how? (2)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43871339)

Someone should tell them that wheat pollen is distributed by the wind.

Re:Nobody knows how? (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43871533)

Someone should tell them that wheat pollen is distributed by the wind.

But wheat seeds aren't to a great extent.

So it's actually pretty serious if one is concerned about the crop going wild: It's apparently not male-sterile and cross-pollination can pass on the Roundup resistance to unmodified plants. This lands somewhere between a hassle and extra expense for farmers who aren't growing wheat and can't use Roundup to prepare their fields for other crops, and a potential disaster for farmers who are growing conventional who get their crop sales potential -- and thus value -- reduced by unwittingly, unintentionally and unwillingly producing GMO wheat.

Re:Nobody knows how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871677)

And it will be an even bigger problem for the US if the rest of the world says "screw you, we don't want your GMO, we're simply banning your crops".

The US will bluster and whine that this isn't fair, they will threaten trade sanctions, and hypocritically go to the WTO. The WTO will point out that countries are free to determine what they want, and the US can suck it. Then they'll act like petulant assholes and force the issue another way.

The US is massively out of touch with the rest of the world on this issue, and in the long run, this could basically cut them off from other markets.

The rest of the world doesn't want your GMO any more than they want your stupid fucking IP laws.

Keep fiddling while the empire burns.

Re:Nobody knows how? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43871811)

The US is massively out of touch with the rest of the world on this issue, and in the long run, this could basically cut them off from other markets.

The rest of the world doesn't want your GMO any more than they want your stupid fucking IP laws.

Keep fiddling while the empire burns.

Don't be too smug . Both the GMO crops and the IP laws are products of our corporations. And by "our corporations" I mean yours and mine. These are multi-nationals that aren't particularly interested in the survival of anyone's empire, or any given nation for that matter. So you'd be wise to not be "fiddling" wherever you are either, but keeping heat on your government not to cave. Because, I assure you the big corporations are working the other side in your country, too.

Re:Nobody knows how? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about a year ago | (#43871859)

The rest of the world will also begin to go hungry.

Anti-GMO science deniers line up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871361)

Take your best gratuitous science-free shots at Big Evil Corporation Monsanto.
Get your best fear on about some completely innocuous strain of wheat that "got loose from the lab".
Pretend like you never pretended before that the Apocalypse is really really really truly upon us THIS TIME. Believe like you never believed before all those other times the apocalypse was upon us.

Re:Anti-GMO science deniers line up (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about a year ago | (#43871481)

all hail the legally-mandated monoculture food supply owned by a single company

innocuous. you use that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re: Anti-GMO science deniers line up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871779)

It's not so much the GMO that is the problem as much as it is the chemicals the crops are resistant of. Farmers plant GMO crops which are resistant to round up. The farmer then soaks the field with round up a couple times a season so nothing else grows. The crops soak up the round up and then are harvested. You then eat the food that is soaked in round up. I'm sure Monsanto studies show that round up is completely safe for human consumption. Why would they have any reason to mislead the public about the risks?

Deliberate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871395)

Since Monsanto is not known for their honesty or ethics, I'm sure it was spread deliberately in an attempt to force the government to approve it.

Monsanto by design (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#43871413)

It's obvious. Pollen from "real" Monsanto plants was cross contaminated with native/non-monsanto plants. This is a natural occurrence in nature when spread via bees, wind, etc. Monsanto is set to pretty much regulate the food supply through the courts once everything has been contaminated with GMO pollen.

Re:Monsanto by design (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year ago | (#43871529)

Do not worry, we will soon have killed all the bees and we can stop worrying about that one...

A little wheat scarcity... (2)

Saethan (2725367) | about a year ago | (#43871433)

Some wheat scarcity would do good for my state (Kansas) ... down with GMO! Up with wheat prices!

My only real issue with GMO is the company that designs it claiming infringement when it's their own damn plant's fault that it spread with the wind into another farmer's field.

good time to mention (5, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43871451)

This reminds me. To all you haters saying that the US does nothing but import and it's a suicidal economic structure, read that last line. We import cheap plastic crap and clothes and toys from China and export a gigantic supply of food around the world. Yeah, electronics' sourcing are a bit of a problem but other than that, our exports are quite important. That's why Monsanto should really stop fucking it up. I hope the government fines them the entirety of the lost sales.

Re:good time to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871611)

Hate to go too far off topic but I felt I needed to respond.

Many people realize that we do export, and import. The general concern is that the US exports mostly unfinished goods, raw resources. We import lots and lots of finished goods. That's where the problem is, because taken as a whole, we're importing a lot more 'value' than we're exporting, and using up our natural resources to send somewhere else, rather than build with them right here.

Anyway, enough of that topic. More on-topic, does anyone have an actual case of this company sueing a farmer for wheat growing in their fields, that they were unaware was there? I hate them but i've yet to see a case where the farmer wasn't trying to cheat the system by selecting seed from plants he wasn't supposed to be selecting from (weather that's wrong or not is up to you, frankly it makes sense to me, but its a legal wrong more than a moral wrong in my book.)

Re:good time to mention (4, Insightful)

indy_bob_twobears (771882) | about a year ago | (#43871773)

The "Monsanto Protection Act", referenced above in the link, http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-bill-blunt-agriculture-006/ [rt.com] , prevents the governement for fining them for anything. This is precisely the type of incident the bill was written to protect them from. Funny that, isn't it?

Re:good time to mention (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#43871857)

This reminds me. To all you haters saying that the US does nothing but import and it's a suicidal economic structure, read that last line. We import cheap plastic crap and clothes and toys from China and export a gigantic supply of food around the world.

Farming employs a dwindling and already miniscule amount of people in the US. While the US may continue to export things, it does not employ a large amount of people, which is the real concern of those noting the move of manufacturing from the US to other counties.

Just goes to show how potentially dangerous this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871495)

can be. Fortunately, wheat is a benign plant. Something that's resistant to most herbicides and such misbreeds with a potentially and explosively invasive type of plant and all of a sudden we could have a pretty serious problem. Or how about genetically modified animals? Sometimes you just cannot predict what will result from genetic mixing.

And once it's really out of the bottle and into the wild, there is no going back.

Nature wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871557)

Nature just showing us humans we cant control it. We really should not be tampering with genes, since we cant bossily predict how it effects our enviroment. There was movie comment: Life finds a way...

Just wait (1)

trum4n (982031) | about a year ago | (#43871559)

next story will be about Monsanto suing this guy for not paying for a license...

A consortium of farmers should sue Monsanto (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43871577)

and maybe this is the case I've been waiting to see:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3745109&cid=43711491 [slashdot.org]

>The organic farmer selling non-GMO crops who sues for damages
>'cause his plants are cross-pollenated by a neighboring farmer using
>GMO seeds who doesn't follow the guidelines for planting a barrier row
>of non-GMO plants around the edges of his field.

Also ban computers, sanitation and the seed drill! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871599)

This is ridiculously stupid. Who *cares* if GMO plants get into the wild? Who *cares* if they cross-breed with other plants? Who cares about any of this? Ignorant idiots, that's who. They're just some smegging plants! They're not triffids or nuclear waste! There is no evidence that GMO crops have ever, or will ever, do anyone any harm - at least, no more harm than 'normal' plants would. There is nothing *special* about them.

Nothing to see here, please just let the scientists get on with trying to improve the world for everyone! Any negative effects from all this Monsanto crap (and yes, they are evil) will ultimately be dwarfed by the positive effects GMO research and deployment will have for us all.

Re:Also ban computers, sanitation and the seed dri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871841)

Who *cares* are wheat importing companies with rules around GM foods. Since the US is a *MAJOR* exporter of wheat they care a great deal when other nations wont buy the product. Heck, might be good for the Canadian wheat farmers...

Monsanto's statement (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43871607)

Their statement is basically "this is the first time this has happened and we're just as surprised as you are."

Of course, all previous cases involved them blaming farmers for covertly planting the crops while the farmers insisted the seeds blew onto their land. (You know, how wheat evolved for thousands of years to spread.) In other words, this is the first time that they can't pin it on the farmer.

Re:Monsanto's statement (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43871623)

"Thousands of years" should probably be "millions of years." Then again, millions of years IS some large value of thousands of years. (End rationalizing errors made while commenting when tired.)

The same story again and again... (2)

jcdr (178250) | about a year ago | (#43871641)

Another new technology claimed to be totally safe and absolutely under control that yield a new unknown and unexpected effect. The human race will probably not survive long enough to his own errors to reach the level where his global conscience and individual action are compatible with the ecosystem of the Earth.

Simply put: human fail miserably to manage process that span longer than a his own lifetime.
   

One day, I will piss (0)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#43871659)

upon Monsanto's grave.

Life is more tenacious than Monsanto is greedy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871697)

...

So Monsanto can be sued for damages, right? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#43871725)

Countries refusing American wheat has to hurt the bottom line for some farmers - and most farms are part of huge companies these days so finding a lawyer shouldn't be hard.

Or did the government grant them immunity?

Actually scratch that, without even checking I'll go with the government has granted Monsanto immunity to do whatever it likes.

No mystery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871753)

Fox News reports that a Kansas scientist explained it...it had been there see earl years and no one had noticed. I just have this thing about eating roundup.

It is a simple liability case (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year ago | (#43871763)

Monsanto should simply be held fully responsible for any negative financial impact this might have on the American wheat industry. They, of course, should be able to pursue the recovery of funds from any negligent license holders, but the ultimate responsibility is theirs.

Many medicene are BIo-engineered (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871791)

What i'm amazed is that genetically engineered agro products gets so much attention, but medicine from genetically engineered microorganisms does not get any attention. Today most of our diabetes medicine comes for genetically modified microbes. I see no one objecting to that...

Re:Many medicene are BIo-engineered (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871855)

See this: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-7/Insulin.html.. All of our Insulin are manufactured from bacteria using genetically engineering methods...

Ideas for Monsanto's ad campaign. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43871795)

- Not just wheat. MONSANTO wheat.

- If it looks like wheat and tastes like wheat, it's wheat. Just eat it and don't be a friggin' baby!

- Man pulls up in limousine Excuse me, can you pass the Monsanto wheat?

The Futility of Narrow Enforcement (1, Interesting)

anorlunda (311253) | about a year ago | (#43871807)

We are approaching the point where a grad student, or even a gifted high school student can cook up something genetically dangerous, then release it out his/her bedroom window.

A politician (I think it was John Brennan) recently said something like this, "Society must learn to deal not only with radical groups, but also with individuals feeling isolated and discontented. By 2030, such individuals will be able to create world threatening pathogens at home." Sorry, I don't have the link to the source.

I think he is right. It is futile to focus enforcement solely on those like Montsanto openly digging with genes. Millions of people are being educated in life sciences. We must look much deeper at what makes people like Timothy McVeigh so angry and alienated.

The democratic system where the majority rules 100% of the time guarantees that there will be individuals who are on the losing side 100% of the time and whose voices are never listened to. How are they supposed to feel?

Wheat is wind-pollinated, how is this news? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#43871817)

-1, Obvious

Monsanto corn rootworm issues too (1)

RoTNCoRE (744518) | about a year ago | (#43871867)

Heard a story on the radio (CBC) the other day about scattered incidents being observed in several states this year of Monsanto GMO corn crops with insecticide engineered in to stop rootworms losing effectiveness as the rootworms have developed immunity. So now farmers are paying more for their seed AND having to deal with the rootworms with traditional insecticides.

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