Genetically Engineered Wheat Discovered In Oregon Unapproved

As most students attending international culinary schools are aware, genetically engineered foods are a controversial topic. On one hand, they provide stronger plants that lead to improved harvests, but on the other hand, their long-term effects on human health are unknown. In the midst of the debate about the labeling of genetically engineered foods, a herbicide-resistant strain of scientifically made wheat has been recently discovered in an Oregon field without the United States Department of Agriculture’s approval.

The particular type of wheat in question was developed by food giant Monsanto to be resistant to Roundup, a popular herbicide. Roundup-resistant tests were discontinued by Monsanto in 2005 due to a lack of interest in the engineered wheat. Many countries, especially those in Asia, are leery of the effects of genetically engineered foods on human health. In the United States, where these types of foods are legal with USDA approval, the vast majority of engineered food is used as animal feed or made into processed items rather than traditionally consumed.  As a result of the illegal discovery, Japan and South Korea have suspended wheat shipments from the U.S., and the European Union and Taiwan are seeking testing on American wheat imports to check for genetically engineered strains.

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