September 11, 2013

Natural Foodie: It's been a bumper year for anti-GMO action


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This summer, non-GMO labels sprouted up everywhere, from the farmers market to the grocery store. Recent laws passed by Maine and Connecticut, and under consideration in a number of other states, would require foods containing GMOs to be labeled.

Avery Yale Kamila photos

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ACTIVISTS AROUND THE GLOBE plan to hold a second March Against Monsanto on Oct. 12. The event is intended to draw attention to Monsanto's global push for farmers to grow its patented GMO seeds. In Maine, organizers plan to meet in Portland's Monument Square at 2 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a GMO-free picnic to enjoy before the march.

Since the incident, the USDA has tested commercial seeds and farm fields and the Korean government has tested imported U.S. wheat shipments, but neither has found any of the GMO genes. Washington State University has also tested all the wheat varieties developed by the university, along with other varieties grown in the Northwest and found no trace of the Roundup-resistant genes.

That's good news for the U.S. wheat industry, since the discovery of the GMO plants prompted Japan and South Korea to halt some wheat purchases and a Kansas farmer to sue Monsanto for damaging the value of his crop.

Monsanto claims its own tests show the farmer's seed wasn't polluted by rogue genes from the GMO variety, but rather the field was sown with a small amount of the unapproved GMO seed. The company suggested the seeds may have been planted as a ploy to make Monsanto look bad.

According to Bloomberg News, Monsanto continues to conduct field trials of Roundup-resistant strains of GMO wheat, planting 150 acres in Hawaii last year and 300 acres in North Dakota this year.

Investigators still don't know how the unapproved wheat ended up in the Oregon field. 

Freelance writer Avery Yale Kamila lives in Portland, where she does her best to avoid GMOs and writes about health food. She can be reached at:

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


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