cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Senior Advisor

Monsanto's 'blame game' as OR GE wheat mystery deepens

Monsanto had a phone conference for reporters by its PR on the 21st and seems to be determined to cast the blame on 'enemies' if the exact sequence of events leading to a RR 'escape' can't be definitively pinned on them. In other words, they aren't responsible in any way, shape, or form. This aligns with their initial reaction that Oregon State lab tests weren't sophisticated enough to identify RR traits in wheat, even though OSU had originally cooperated in research and trials on RR wheat.

 

 

 

Here's the defense. Since the previous crop had been a winter wheat mix (according to OSU – and it's been reported that the sources of the seed don't seem to have any contamination), and that RR plants weren't found evenly distributed in the summer fallow field as you might expect if the previous year's seed was contaminated ' - then it must be 'eco terrorists' with malice aforethought.

 

 

 

What if the GE trait was found in foundation seed lots (it reportedly hasn't been)? Why would that not be malicious persons unknown – as opposed to inadvertent or accidental contamination or careless accounting at some level? It appears the 'it was someone else' is a universal defense unless one had absolute proof it wasn't a malicious act. What kind of proof would that be?

 

 

 

Here's where it gets interesting. Monsanto has never seen the field where the RR trait was found and doesn't know exactly where it is. It apparently knows the farmer who's field the Monsanto trait was found in is a good guy and not 'involved' in the apparent mischief, though they have never talked with him. How does Monsanto know this? Well, they talked to the farmer's lawyer. This description is how Monsanto knows this is all very suspicious and not their responsibility.

 

 

 

It has not even been revealed whether it was actually a winter or spring variety that was identified carrying the trait. There was information the field had been planted the year before in a winter mix of two varieties (Rod and WB 528) but as it turns out no variety has been identified as the carrier, and while Monsanto has apparently been testing winter wheat variety seeds WSU has been testing SPRING varieties – both known to have originally given RR traits by Monsanto. If it was a spring variety volunteering (regardless of how it got there) it might undermine Monsanto's reasoning being pushed to reporters. They apparently also wouldn't detect if somebody came into their test plots 9 years ago and gathered wheat, according to their spokesman.

 

 

 

So, why is Monsanto putting out a speculative story to reporters to blame somebody else before more definitive findings from the USDA come in? A warning to USDA? An attempt to get a story out in an effort to garner sympathy among a pool of 'deciders' in civil trials sure to materialize? I would think trying to come up with a case to blame someone else w/o even having access to certain evidence might be taken unfavorably in a civil case as prior intent to dodge any and all responsibility regardless of more substantiated conclusions presented later.

 

 

 

http://agfax.com/2013/06/21/oregon-ge-wheat-might-have-been-planted-on-purpose/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0 Kudos
6 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Monsanto's 'blame game' as OR GE wheat mystery deepens or

why ? that i your characterization,..  conspiracies everywhere /

or soon to be a non-issue.

 

fi someone is worried about W prices, work up a SRW supply dwmand proxy .

 

THEN you have sonmething  to worry about .

 

LONG CZ short WZ  and idea, 

0 Kudos
Senior Advisor

Re: Monsanto's 'blame game' as OR GE wheat mystery deepens

Sitting a long way away from the event, in every way, my reading of the article was that Monsanto was first trying to reduce any anxiety in producers that they would get adulterated seed to plant in the future and only secondly that Monsanto was worrying about it's own defense from potential litigation from the present contamination.  I am assuming that Monsanto or a subsidearly sells seed wheat.  If not, then I might draw a different conclusion.  In any event, there will be more information out on this over time.

 

0 Kudos
Senior Advisor

Re: Monsanto's 'blame game' as OR GE wheat mystery deepens

Monsanto has never sold any seed wheat out here that I know of. In fact, WSU would never cooperate w/ Monsanto mainly because they felt that by inserting the RR event in the varieties out here they would be getting the benefits and control over publicly released genetics for free. Most seed out here is public with a few significant private breeders - like WestBred. Although they have changed hands and I'm not sure who their parent company might be at this time.

0 Kudos

Re: Monsanto's 'blame game' as OR GE wheat mystery deepens

Monsanto bought Westbred a year or so back...................

0 Kudos
Senior Contributor

Re: Monsanto's 'blame game' as OR GE wheat mystery deepens

0 Kudos
Senior Contributor

Re: Monsanto's 'blame game' as OR GE wheat mystery deepens

Monsanto GMO wheat stored in Colorado through '11

Carey Gillam, Reuters  |   July 1, 2013

   

 

Monsanto Co's unapproved, experimental genetically engineered wheat, which is feared to have potentially contaminated U.S. wheat supplies after it was found growing in an Oregon field this spring, was kept in a U.S. government storage facility until at least late 2011, according to documents obtained by Reuters.

The revelation that the seed for the controversial genetically engineered wheat was kept viable in a Colorado storage facility as recently as a year and a half ago comes as the U.S. government is investigating how the strain of experimental wheat wound up growing in an Oregon field this spring.

The probe by the U.S. Department of Agriculture includes an examination of the handling of the GMO wheat seed that Monsanto directed be sent to the government-controlled National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Color., beginning in late 2004, according to Peter Bretting, who oversees the center for the USDA's Agricultural Research Service.

David Dierig, research leader at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, also said the matter was "under active investigation."

The National Center uses high-tech methods to extend the viability of seeds for decades, much longer than their viability in conventional storage. The facility took in at least 43 physical containers of Monsanto's so-called "Roundup Ready" wheat in late 2004 and early 2005, the documents show. The material represented more than 1,000 different unique varieties or lines, according to the documents that Monsanto provided in a heavily redacted format.

The documents were made up of correspondence between Monsanto and the Colorado facility.

Monsanto was shutting down its work with Roundup Ready wheat, altered to tolerate treatments of Roundup herbicide, when it set up a contract dated November 2, 2004, for the resources preservation center to store its wheat seed. Monsanto said the seed was confirmed incinerated on Jan. 5, 2012.

"At our direction, the seed was destroyed ... as it was old material and we had no plans for its future use," said Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher, who provided Reuters with the supporting documents. Monsanto also archived some of the wheat at its facilities in St. Louis, Mo.

When asked if USDA had accounted for all the supplies sent to the Colorado facility, USDA spokesman Ed Curlett said the government probe is seeking an answer to that question.

A USDA spokesman on Friday said the government does believe that all the seed it received was incinerated, and that it cannot account for seed that might have been sent elsewhere.

The Roundup Ready wheat was never approved for commercial use and was supposed to be tightly controlled. Monsanto has said it suspects someone covertly obtained its wheat seed and planted it in the Oregon field to sabotage Monsanto's work with biotech crops.

The government and Monsanto have said there is no indication the GMO wheat made it into commercial supplies, but the finding has hit Monsanto and the wheat industry hard.

Monsanto has been named in several lawsuits and over the last month, exports of U.S. western white wheat have been curtailed as foreign buyers shun the U.S. supplies and demand assurances that none of the biotech wheat has contaminated the marketplace.

Wheat growers want the mystery solved.

"Determining how it happened would certainly make it easier for us to make sure ... that it doesn't happen again, regardless of whether it was sabotage or some accident," said Blake Rowe, chief executive of the Oregon Wheat Commission. "Our customers would like to know how it happened."

 

----So could this be some enviro-extremist working in the govt facilities at Ft. Collins?   Looks like proceedure was followed to destroy other seed not destined for secure storage.  

0 Kudos