Monsanto Profits Up: Biotech Wheat Moves Closer to Market

Monsanto Corporation announced that they are marching toward successfully developing an herbicide-tolerant wheat that would advance the biotech industry.

Robb Fraley, chief technology officer for Monsanto, said: “The grain industry and the wheat industry … have remained very interested and supportive of biotech advances. A wheat farmer is also generally a corn and soybean farmer and they understand the benefits of the technology.”

This product is still “several years away” from launch; however the purpose is to give to the marketplace a genetically-altered wheat that can grow admit being sprayed with glyphosate.

Last May, a farmer and owner of an 80-acre farm in Oregon was being harassed by Monsanto for having a form of patented genetically-modified wheat growing on his field without permission and not approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA stated that scientists confirmed the strain of wheat was manufactured by Monsanto.

Scientists from Oregon State first conducted testing on the wheat and first confirmed that it was in violation of US law.

Bob Zemetra, wheat breeder for Oregon State, said that “it looked like regular wheat”; however “we’ll need to develop or implement a method for testing some of the grain to see for the first year or two” to make sure that the dangerous GM strain has not entered the global marketplace.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed that the wheat in question is resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide that uses glyphosate, which is to approved as safe for consumption.

Monsanto stated that they are working with the USDA on this issue. They maintain that the “Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the food and feed safety of Roundup Ready wheat more than a decade ago. The Roundup Ready gene, which is widely used in multiple crops and by millions of farmers globally, has been also reviewed and approved by regulatory authorities in every country around the world to which crops containing that gene have been submitted for cultivation or import approval, including Japan, Korea and the EU.”

Monsanto asserts that “the glyphosate-tolerance gene used in Roundup Ready wheat has a long history of safe use. The gene that was used in Roundup Ready wheat also produces the same protein that has been and is used widely in corn, soy and several other crops by millions of farmers throughout the world.”

Investigators are trying to understand how this unapproved version of Monsanto GM wheat ended up in the farmer’s field.

Concern about global markets and investors who are avoiding participation with GM foods is sending shockwaves through Europe. There is no evidence as of yet that the unapproved wheat has entered the marketplace; however the USDA is “taking this very seriously.”

Michael Doane, director of industry affairs at Monsanto, said: “We have to prove the safety of the gene, the food, the animal feed and the environment. That it is as safe as unmodified varieties and (nutritionally) is substantially equivalent to commercial varieties.”

Monsanto has created deadly versions of canola, corn, cotton, soybean, sugar beets and alfalfa; just to name a few. Their most well-known product, Round-Up, has prompted the creation of plant life that are resistant to the weed-killer.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded in a study that GM foods contain pesticide residue has shown to produce human cellular endocrine disruptors measured at 1000 times below.

Corroborating the NIH, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) found that “GM foods pose a serious health risk.”

Eight hundred scientists from the Institute of Science in Society (ISS) have come together from all across the globe to demand that Monsanto’s GM experiment end.

In an open letter “from world scientists to all governments concerning genetically modified organisms” it was expressed that “GM crops offer no benefits to farmers or consumers. Instead, many problems have been identified, including yield drag, increased herbicide use, erratic performance, and poor economic returns to farmers. GM crops also intensify corporate monopoly on food, which is driving family farmers to destitution, and preventing the essential shift to sustainable agriculture that can guarantee food security and health around the world.”

The letter states: “We urge the US Congress to reject GM crops as both hazardous and contrary to the interest of family farmers; and to support research and development of sustainable agricultural methods that can truly benefit family farmers all over the world. We, the undersigned scientists, call for the immediate suspension of all environmental releases of GM crops and products, both commercially and in open field trials, for at least 5 years; for patents on living processes, organisms, seeds, cell lines and genes to be revoked and banned; and for a comprehensive public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all.”

Monsanto reported a $368 million increase in earnings for the quarter which equals 69 cents a share on the exchange market.