Oregon Wheat Mystery Still Unsolved

Staff Writer
A discovery of GMO wheat in Oregon remains unexplainable, despite investigation

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

In late May, an agricultural mystery began in a wheat field in Oregon — and, as NPR reports, nearly two months later, it has yet to be solved. The case: An Oregon farmer discovers genetically engineered wheat amongst his crops, even though this GMO has yet to be commercially approved. So who put it there? To date, no one’s owned up.

Monsanto, which created GMO varieties of wheat but dropped the development in 2005 — and, to many, would seem like the mystery’s biggest suspect — has something of a conspiracy theory about the occurrence. In a recent conference with reporters, Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Robert Fraley, argued that there is a “strong possibility that someone intentionally introduced wheat seed containing CP4 even into [the farmer’s] field,” perhaps because “there are folks who don’t like biotechnology and would use this as an opportunity to create problems.”

It’s fair to say that some people on the other end of the call rolled their eyes.

It seems more likely that one of Monsanto’s trial versions of GMO wheat was mislabeled and sold, or even spread, on the ground during the experiments.

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Of course, until a concrete resolution is determined, the speculation will continue — maybe indefinitely. For now, consumers are left to wonder whether such a strange discovery will happen again, and where.