- One of six men being held in connection with an alleged plot to steal GMO seeds and send them to China has pleaded "not guilty"in federal court in Des Moines.
- Prosecutors allege that Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, was involved in a plan to pilfer patented seed corn and ship it illegally to China.
- The arrests came after the FBI determined that GMO seed corn was being removed from test fields planted with seeds produced by DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.
We'll wait to see how this all turns out in court, but it has to be noted that the feds seem to have built a compelling case. Mo and two of the other suspects were arrested in a field with patented seeds. And the suspects are tied to a seed company, owned by Beijing-based conglomerate DBN Group, where stolen seeds were recovered.
If the men turn out to be guilty, they will be punished. But our hope is that feds are able to trace the crime to its origins. What we, and no doubt DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto, would like to know is if this is a conspiracy by a few hapless fools, or if powers in China sent thieves to the Midwest specifically to steal patented seeds.