USDA Bolsters Number of Investigators On Oregon GMO Wheat, Harvest Nears

By Anna King

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has increased the number of investigators and field staff looking into the genetically modified wheat found on an Oregon farm. There are now 15 people on the ground in the Northwest, up from 9 last week. In about a month, Northwest wheat farmers will rev up their tractors for harvest. That means USDA investigators have a limited time to figure out how the genetically modified wheat sprouted up. Correspondent Anna King has been driving through Northwest wheat country, talking to farmers.

“The wheat is up and is really developing well. And all that grain has to go somewhere. It’s got to be put in the bins, it’s got to go to the granaries and it’s got to get put on boats and trucks. And so if all that backs up it could be a major problem. But at this point farmers are concerned but they’re not ripping out their hair quite yet.”

The experimental wheat found by an Oregon farmer is resistant to the herbicide RoundUp and wasn’t supposed to make it into the food chain. So far Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have delayed soft white wheat shipments because of worry about the grain.

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