US transgenic wheat is alarmed worldwide

According to the Xinhua News Agency, Washington, June 2, a genetically modified wheat that has been abandoned for nine years has mysteriously appeared on the farmland in the United States recently and has attracted worldwide attention.

In April of this year, a farmer in Oregon accidentally discovered that some wheat stubbornly grew after spraying farmer herbicides on his own farm. Samples of wheat were sent to Oregon State University for preliminary testing and they were herbicide-resistant. Since the United States did not approve the planting of genetically modified wheat, the US Department of Agriculture immediately received a report in early May and sent a field investigation. It was finally confirmed that this was an anti-insecticide genetically modified wheat developed by Monsanto in the United States more than 10 years ago.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced related news on May 29. Where did these genetically modified wheat come from? One month after the incident, researchers were still confused. Monsanto announced its withdrawal of this wheat planting application as early as nine years ago. The last field trial of this wheat in Oregon was in 2001. There was a big difference in time and the locations were far apart. In that year, the Ministry of Agriculture approved the cultivation of more than 100 pieces of farmland in 16 states in the United States. However, no single experimental plot was close to the site of the incident. The Oregon State University's agricultural experts said that Monsanto experimented with spring wheat, but now it is winter wheat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture stated that there have been many experts on site. According to the relevant U.S. laws, if it is proved that some people or institutions cultivate GM wheat without permission, they may face up to one million U.S. dollars in fines and other penalties.

After the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the news of GM wheat, Japan cancelled an order for U.S. wheat and South Korea suspended the import of U.S. soft white wheat. The EU also requires member states to inspect wheat imported from the United States.

The United States, on the other hand, called on its trading partners not to worry, and cited the 2004 U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s assessment of the safety of the wheat, stating that GM wheat “does not pose a threat to food safety”.

Since 1997, Monsanto has invested heavily in the development of genetically modified wheat that is resistant to herbicides such as "Rongda". Its yield is 5% to 15% higher than that of ordinary wheat. However, in 2004, Monsanto abandoned the planting application because of opposition. But this does not mean that the genetically modified wheat has been shelved since then. Over the past 10 years, wheat industry representatives, technology R&D companies and others have been discussing when GM wheat can be introduced into the global market.


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