WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States is still racing to determine how unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in an Oregon field, a discovery that continued to roil global wheat markets on Friday as South Korean buyers stepped aside.
A top official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said investigators are “pursuing many avenues” to determine how the wheat – which carries a gene making it resistant to herbicide applications – popped up in late April.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After an alert a month ago, a team of U.S. plant detectives methodically began to gather evidence for what would lead to a jarring announcement for the farm world – that genetically modified wheat, not approved for cultivation anywhere in the world, was growing in Oregon.
The rogue wheat turned out to be a strain developed by biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. (MON.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) more than a decade ago and abandoned in the face of worldwide opposition to genetically modified (GM) wheat. Final field tests on the strain had concluded in 2005.
CHICAGO/WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) – U.S. officials raced
to quell global alarm on Thursday over the first-ever discovery
of an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat, working
to figure out how the rogue grain escaped from a field trial a
In the wake of news that a strain developed by biotech giant
Monsanto Co had been found in an Oregon field late last
month, major buyer Japan cancelled plans to buy U.S. wheat while
the Europe Union said it would step up testing. Worried U.S.
farmers wondered if their own fields had been contaminated.
WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS, May 30 (Reuters) – Major global
importers expressed alarm over U.S. wheat supplies on Thursday
after the first-ever discovery of an unapproved strain of
genetically modified grain in Oregon, as U.S. officials raced to
contain the fallout.
Japan cancelled a tender offer to buy U.S. western white
wheat and the European Union said it would test incoming U.S.
shipments and block any containing genetically modified wheat.
U.S. wheat merchants did not report any cancellations of
purchases on Thursday, but some analysts feared a potentially
damaging blow to the $8 billion export business.
WASHINGTON, May 29 (Reuters) – A strain of genetically
engineered wheat never approved for sale or consumption by
authorities was found sprouting on a farm in Oregon, the U.S.
Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.
The wheat was developed years ago by biotechnology company
Monsanto Co but never put into use because of worldwide
opposition to genetically engineered wheat.
WASHINGTON, May 16 (Reuters) – Immigration reform
legislation should allow unlimited hiring of foreigners to work
on U.S. farms to avert damaging labor shortages at harvest, a
group representing large farmers told a U.S. House of
Representatives panel on Thursday.
Growers say the current H-2A guest worker program is
cumbersome and often does not allow them to bring in enough
foreign workers when local recruiting falls short.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican-controlled panel in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the biggest cuts in food stamps for the poor in a generation and a potentially expensive expansion of federally subsidized crop insurance.
The House Agriculture Committee approved a five-year, $500 billion farm bill on a 36-10 vote. The next step will be debate by the full House, which is likely to start in June.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a farm bill on Tuesday, costing $500 billion over a decade, that would expand the scope of the federally subsidized crop insurance program and modestly trim spending on food stamps for the poor.
The 1,000-page bill now goes to the Senate floor, where a vote could be called as soon as this month.
WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – In a concession to Southern
lawmakers, the new U.S. farm law would set sharply higher
support prices for rice and peanut crops under a draft prepared
for a Senate Agriculture Committee vote next week and released
The $500 billion farm bill is seven months overdue. Senate
Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of
Michigan, called a meeting of her panel to consider the bill on
Tuesday. The House Agriculture Committee confirmed that it will
start its markup on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – Lawmakers are preparing for a
second run at writing the new U.S. farm law that ended in a
stalemate in 2012, and the biggest obstacle is not likely to be
soil conservation or crop subsidies, but the billions spent
mostly in cities and towns.
Analysts say food stamps for the poor, the biggest
Agriculture Department program at an estimated $79 billion this
year, is the make-or-break issue. Republicans are demanding far
larger cuts than Democrats will entertain, and the debate is
becoming increasingly partisan.