An Oregon wheat farmer that discovered Monsanto’s experimental wheat growing on his farm set off a chain of lawsuits that thrust the biotech seed developer back into the spotlight. Wheat farmers and a food safety advocacy group have joined forces to sue the company claiming it failed to protect the U.S. wheat market from contamination by its unauthorized wheat.
The suit follows a similar action filed Monday by a Kansas wheat farmer, alleging that he and other growers have been hurt financially by the discovery of unapproved biotech wheat that Monsanto said it stopped testing nine years ago.
Two other farmers lodged a similar lawsuit in federal court in the western district of Washington state. Plaintiffs claim Monsanto’s failure to contain the wheat amounts to “wrongful conduct” that has potentially contaminated “the entire wheat farming and production chain,” and places many wheat farmers at risk for continued harm through cross-pollination and contamination of their crops. The field testing Monsanto had been doing in many U.S. states was supposed to keep the biotech wheat from contaminating conventional wheat supplies.
The lawsuit seeks “compensatory damages” as well as punitive damages and asks that Monsanto be required to decontaminate equipment, storage and transportation facilities.
News of the contaminated wheat has had a global impact. International buyers threatened to boycott U.S. wheat if the biotech wheat was introduced to the marketplace. Buyers in Asia and Europe shunned U.S. wheat purchases after the discovery of the corrupted wheat in Oregon and South Korea and Japan have suspended some U.S. wheat purchases.
Although there is no evidence that the biotech mystery wheat has made its way into the food supply, there are reasons to be alarmed by Monsanto and all it represents.
Farmers and environmentalists believe that Monsanto is gearing up to have an agricultural monopoly, and they’ve filed suits related to antitrust issues.
When it comes to licensing agreements, Monsanto is reportedly a “big time bully.”
Many are still unconvinced that genetically modified products like Monsanto’s won’t end up being harmful to human health or the environment in the long run.
There are accusations that claim Monsanto hid what it knew about its toxic pollution for decades.
Accusations that the company may be more interested in profit gains than making consumers safe are growing. And the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture may be taking a back seat and turning a blind eye to the unregulated misdeeds of the corporation, allowing rogue foods to land on the dinner tables of consumers.
A group of farmers, consumers, and environmentalists recently sued the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, alleging that it is improperly allowing Monsanto to sell an herbicide-resistant alfalfa seed without examining the health, environmental, and economic ramifications.
These allegations have not yet been proven, but it’s disturbing to think that the company at the forefront of bio-engineered food products, is the same company that introduced saccharine and Agent Orange. Americans eat genetically modified foods everyday. Since there are no labeling requirements, most Americans are eating Genetically Modified foods whether they know it or not. “Monsanto’s genes are in about 95 percent of commercial soybeans and 80 percent of commercial corn.”
Amidst the mounting lawsuits and public outcry against this company one has to ask, is mega monster Monsanto a company that we can trust with our food? If past incidents didn’t set off alarm buttons in consumers, this most recent attack on our wheat should.
(Sources: Mother Earth News, The Huffington Post, Genetically Modified Food) (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
- Region’s farmers not confident in GMO safeguards (billingsgazette.com)
- Kansas wheat farmer sues Monsanto over rogue wheat release (endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com)
- Wash. State Farmers File Lawsuit Against Monsanto Over Uncontrolled GMO Wheat (secretsofthefed.com)
- LAWSUIT: Monsanto Sued By Kansas Wheat Farmer Over Release Of Unapproved GMO Wheat In Oregon (secretsofthefed.com)