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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Update to USDA Investigation of 2013 Oregon Detection of Genetically Engineered Wheat

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Today the USDA officially closed its investigation of the detection of Genetically Engineered (GE) wheat in Oregon with the conclusion that there was no GE wheat that had made it into commerce. There are also no food safety concerns associated with the GE wheat found in Oregon. See the full comments below.

USDA’s report is welcome news for U.S. wheat industry

Today’s report by the USDA affirms that no genetically modified wheat is in commerce and that the commercial seed and grain supply does not contain genetically modified wheat. This finding is supported by extensive testing by USDA, state universities, Monsanto and others. The USDA report also concludes that the unexpected detection of genetically modified wheat in Oregon last May was an isolated event on one farm, one field. Completion of the USDA investigation provides closure for the wheat industry as U.S. wheat growers continue to grow their global business.

Monsanto has been performing field trials with GM crops for over 20 years. “As a company, product stewardship and regulatory compliance are at the heart of everything we do,” said Phil Miller, Monsanto’s global regulatory affairs lead. “While we believe our compliance program is best in class, we continuously review our processes and procedures to improve them, including site selection, field trial isolation and verification and auditing of field trial locations.”

Monsanto is committed to working with USDA to identify innovative stewardship practices, technologies and other opportunities to enable continuous improvement. Full compliance is our top priority. To ensure continuous improvement, Monsanto participates in both the USDA’s Biotechnology Quality Management System Program and the industry’s Excellence Through Stewardship Initiative.

As the report also notes, USDA is reviewing an unrelated situation involving closed-out genetically modified wheat field trials at Montana State University, and Monsanto is cooperating fully with that investigation. In addition, the agency noted there is no evidence that genetically modified wheat is in commerce. For more information, click here.

USDA has published a Q&A summarizing its investigation and emphasizing that there is no evidence that GM wheat is in commerce.  That document is available here.

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