What if we could make plants that were more resistant to cold and pesticides, were bigger and tasted better?
We can, and it's done through genetically modifying those foods to give them those traits. That can be done through old school breeding and pollination, or it can be done in a science lab the way a company like Monsanto does it.
The problem, is that the majority of the world rejects these types of advancements in bio-agriculture. Today, the wheat market was shaken because of a crop of GMO wheat found growing in eastern Oregon.
Unapproved genetically modified wheat has been
discovered growing in the United States. The revelation is threatening the
outlook for U.S. exports of the world's biggest traded food commodity, with
importers keenly aware of consumer sensitivity to gene-altered food. The
European Union is preparing to test incoming shipments, and will block any
containing GM wheat. Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures fell 0.5 percent on
Thursday. Major importer Japan has cancelled a
tender offer to buy U.S. western white wheat, while other top Asian wheat
importers South Korea, China and the Philippines said they were closely
monitoring the situation. 'We will refrain from buying western white and
feed wheat effective today,' Toru Hisadome, a Japanese farm ministry official
in charge of wheat trading said. GM wheat was discovered this spring on a farm
in the west coast state of Oregon, in a field that grew winter wheat in 2012. USDA officials said yesterday that
when a farmer sprayed the so-called 'volunteer' plants with a glyphosate
herbicide, some of them unexpectedly survived. Scientists found the wheat was a
strain field-tested from 1998 to 2005 and deemed safe before St. Louis-based
biotech giant Monsanto withdrew it from the regulatory approval process on
worldwide opposition to genetically engineered wheat. No GM wheat varieties are
approved for general planting in the U.S. or elsewhere, the USDA said.
Dr. Henry Miller from Stanford University joined me on the program today to clear up some common myths about GMO food, and the wheat scandal in eastern Oregon...