- Washington wheat farmers filed lawsuits against Monsanto Co. Thursday claiming damages to export sales following last week's discovery of an unapproved, genetically modified strain of wheat in an Oregon field.
- The Washington lawsuits seek class-action status on behalf of soft white wheat growers harmed by the unapproved strain's discovery, as 90% of that variety grown in the Pacific Northwest is exported to Asian markets for use in noodles and crackers.
- The lawsuits come two days after a Kansas farmer filed suit against the company for similar reasons, and on the same day that Monsanto called the lawsuits premature and insisted the Oregon incident was an isolated occurrence.
From the article:
... "We farmers cannot stand idly by while companies like Monsanto destroy our export markets and our economy," said Tom Stahl, a fourth-generation Washington wheat farmer from Waterville.
Genetically engineered, experimental wheat was found growing in an 80-acre field in Oregon last week. The wheat was the same strain as one designed by Monsanto to be resistant to herbicides. It was tested in Oregon and several other states through 2005 but was never approved by the government. ...