The United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) is looking into the discovery of genetic
engineered (GE) wheat in an unfarmed agricultural field in Washington, USA.
Upon thorough investigation, the USDA determined that the GE wheat were
glphosate resistant and developed by Bayer CropScience (previously
Monsanto). The varieties detected were MON 71300 and MON 71800.
Previous voluntary food and feed safety evaluation conducted by the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that MON 71800 "was as safe as non-GE
wheat currently on the market." Similarly, the FDA concluded that "there
would have no safety concerns in the unlikely event that low levels of MON
71300 wheat or MON 71800 wheat were present in the food supply. " MON 71300
has the same glyphosate-resistant gene as MON 71800.
In response to the issue, APHIS has intensified its surveillance of
regulated GE field trials. The agency now requires developers to apply for a
permit for GE wheat field trials, which will ensure compliance with safety
regulations. APHIS has also announced that a test kit to detect MON 71300
will be available for its trading partners. At present, GE wheat is not yet
commercially produced and sold in the US.