Press release: Montana farmers concerned about genetically modified wheat, June 5, 2013

June 10, 2013

Categories: Agriculture, Food, News, Northern Plains Resource Council

By Northern Plains Resource Council

The Chair of Northern Plains Resource Council, a Montana conservation and family agriculture group, said today he was deeply troubled by the discovery of genetically modified wheat in a farmer’s field in Oregon.

“We have opposed the release of GM wheat since the late ’90s, when Monsanto was beginning field tests in Montana,” said Walter Archer a Powder River County rancher and wheat farmer. “We know our customers don’t want GM wheat and that even the hint of it in Montana fields would threaten our export market because they will not buy any wheat from a country where GM wheat is grown. That’s exactly what has happened. Japan suspended U.S. White Wheat and feed imports and other import markets are following suit. Wheat prices have already shown they’re sensitive to information about contaminated crops.”

Montana exports 75% of its wheat overseas, and 50% of that goes to Japan.

“Farmers cannot afford to lose export sales so that biotech companies like Monsanto can test dangerous crops that no one wants,” Archer said.

“If Monsanto is a responsible company, it will immediately end GM wheat field tests, pull up its remaining test plots, and reimburse Montana and other U.S. wheat farmers for the revenue losses resulting from this contamination. The USDA must conduct a thorough investigation and hold Monsanto accountable for the damage it has done to U.S. wheat markets.”

Northern Plains organizes Montanans to protect water quality, family farms and ranches, and Montana’s unique quality of life.

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Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154