April 24, 2018

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Monsanto

The Center for Food Safety and Pacific Northwest wheat farmers have filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto. Last month, illegal genetically engineered, glyphosate-resistant wheat plants were found growing in Oregon. That what has not been approved for sale or commercial production in the U.S. Importers such as South Korea, Japan, and the EU enacted restrictions on American wheat after the discovery.

GavelsAndrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety said in a statement, “Monsanto has put our farmer’s wheat export at grave risk. Billions of dollars, and our food supply, is at risk because of Monsanto’s negligence. They must be held accountable.”

The wheat was grown in field tests in 16 states from 1998 to 2005. Monsanto gave up its pursuit of regulatory approval in May 2004 after meeting market resistance. Many wheat farmers and consumer groups have said that GE wheat could contaminate conventional wheat. Since many markets around the world reject GE products, fewer buyers lowers the price of American wheat.

Dr. Martha Crouch, a consultant for CFS said, “The discover of unapproved Roundup Ready wheat in a farmer’s field in Oregon, years after Monsanto terminated field testing, is one more example of Monsanto’s inability to keep their engineered genes under control. Until Monsanto and USDA begin to take gene flow from field tests more seriously, we can expect escaped genes to continue to cause havoc.”

The farmers are suing for diminished prices for soft white wheat as well as increased costs from trying to maintain integrity of the conventional soft white wheat supply. Opponents of GE wheat have said this would happen. A 2005 study estimated that the wheat industry could lose up to $272 million if GE wheat were introduced into general farming. Past transgenic contamination involving GE corn and rice have caused more than $1 billion in farm losses.

 

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