Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Genetically modified food is so common in the US, it does not make news any more with many Americans, resigned to their helplessness as the State is refusing to check the spread of these potentially harmful versions of many staple foods. Obviously the regulatory authorities are either afraid of the financial muscle of giant GMO companies which are dominating the landscape in that country or the dangerous nexus between politicians and these monopolists, paralyzing the entire food safety monitoring system of the country. It is shocking that more than 80% of foods in the American market contain varying levels of GMO foods without the citizen ever knowing about it because of the non-transparent labeling policy. It is in this context that the accidental contamination of natural wheat fields in some farms in the US with GM wheat came as a shock to many GMO sensitive consumers and traditional wheat farmers. It befitting that the affected farmers have gone for legal action against those responsible  for it demanding financial compensation. Here is a take on this new development with far reaching implications.  

Two wheat farms in Eastern Washington filed a lawsuit Thursday against agricultural giant Monsanto, claiming their business has been damaged by the discovery of genetically modified wheat in Oregon. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane, seeks class-action status and damages to be determined by the court. Separately, the Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit in the same court Thursday also seeking class-action status for Northwest wheat farmers. Its fellow plaintiffs are Clarmar Farms and wheat farmer Tom Stahl, both of Douglas County The actions come after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said last week that a farmer in Oregon found genetically modified wheat in his field almost a decade after Monsanto stopped testing that type of wheat. The two Washington farms in the first suit — Wahl Ranch in Adams County and Dreger Enterprises in Lincoln County — grow soft white wheat, the variety prevalent in the Northwest and the type grown by the Oregon farmer who found a genetically modified strain in his field. As a result of the discovery, Japan stopped its customary order of soft white wheat last week. "We've seen a drop in future and current cash prices on wheat already, and at least one shipment of wheat turned away or refused. We think this is actual damage," said Kim Stephens, a partner at Tousley Brain Stephens in Seattle, one of two firms representing the farms. The other is the Hausfeld, a Washington, D.C., firm. Monsanto Chief Litigation Counsel Kyle McClain said in an emailed statement that there is "scant basis for a lawsuit."

Of course the GMO lobby will protest with all its power that they are not responsible for the accidental contamination and condemn the class action suit with contempt! The consequences of the discovery of GM wheat among natural wheat plants will definitely affect American wheat exports in a very significant way. While almost the whole world is shunning GMO products, America is stubbornly clinging to GMO products which are being showed through the throat of millions of consumers who have no choice but to continue with their lives like a conditioned flock of sheep! It is still not clear as to how the American government certifies GM products as safe and natural when tons of scientific data say otherwise! It is time that the rest of the world massively boycott American agricultural products to send the message that GM foods are not acceptable unless independent confirmation about their safety is established. 


No comments: