Genetically Modified Wheat Resource Center
Background on the Issues
Genetically Modified Wheat is a Threat to Farmers
We are seeing massive problems with the genetic contamination from neighboring farms with GM corn, soybeans and canola. Most of the soybean supply in the U.S. is already contaminated with genetically modified seeds. Many organic and conventional corn farmers are losing markets because their crops are testing positive for GM traits. Many experts have said that it is next to impossible to find non-GM canola in Canada because of this genetic trespass. Wheat pollen is even more pervasive than that of canola.
- All these new GM crops are patented, which prohibits farmers from planting the seeds in subsequent years. This means that they must purchase the patented seed every year from the seed company. Monsanto sells 90% of all GM seeds in use today. This corporation is currently taking legal action against hundreds of farmers for saving seed, but many of these farmers have not planted Monsanto's seed; their crops have GM traits only because of contamination from GM pollen. Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian canola grower, was sued by Monsanto and lost his case over this very same issue. His case is currently under appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Genetically Modified Wheat is a Threat to the Economy
- GM wheat is a mortal threat to the U.S. wheat market. It is estimated that the loss of markets for GM corn, soy and canola has reached over 300 million dollars per year because the European Union will not purchase GM crops. The U.S. is the world's leading wheat exporter. Many foreign companies have stated that they will not purchase GM wheat or any wheat if GM wheat is grown in the region. Korea is the fifth largest purchaser of U.S. wheat exports. The Korean Flour Mills Industrial Association has stated that they want GM-free certification of any hard red spring wheat they purchase. The price of spring wheat could drop by one-third if a GM variety is introduced commercially into Montana or North Dakota, according to agricultural economist Dr. Robert Wisner of Iowa State University. This will spell doom for North American wheat growers even if they decide to not plant GM wheat themselves.
- GM crops are not required to go through any type of independent safety peer review to determine if they are safe for either human consumption or the environment.
We must oppose this theft of a great common resource and protect the sovereignty of independent farmers and our right to safe food.