Tuesday, July 29, 2014

POISONING PEOPLE AND COLONY COLLAPSE -VS- TRADE DOLLARS: WHICH WINS OUT?

Inside U.S. Trade - 07/25/2014
Under Industry Pressure In TTIP, EU Weighs Shift On Pesticides Regulation
Posted: July 24, 2014
 
The European Commission is weighing whether to propose changing EU legislation governing the use of pesticides in a way that could make it easier for companies to market products containing substances that affect human hormones, which is a key demand by the crop protection industries on both sides of the Atlantic in U.S.-EU trade talks.
The commission is poised to initiate a public consultation -- expected in early September -- that will ask stakeholders to weigh in on several different options for how the EU's pesticide law could be modified as part of a larger effort to revamp EU rules on hormone-affecting substances called "endocrine disruptors."
One of the options proposed by the commission in a June 17 "roadmap" is to shift from the current EU approach of banning the use of all endocrine disruptors in pesticides toward a model that could allow them to be used as long as certain steps are taken to mitigate the risk.
This risk assessment-based model is favored by the U.S. and EU pesticide industries and is the approach employed under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program." Such a model seeks to evaluate both whether a hazard exists and if it can be mitigated by limiting exposure, in order to allow the marketing of an otherwise dangerous product.
But an EU official acknowledged that altering the pesticide law along these lines would require legislative action, meaning that any such changes would be months away at the earliest and entail a tough debate between the commission, EU member states and the European Parliament.
Environmental and public safety advocates have reacted with alarm to the roadmap, warning that the commission appears to be on track to water down critical safeguards. Industry lobbyists, meanwhile, argue that the roadmap overall appears skewed toward maintaining what they claim is a non-scientific and overly restrictive regulatory framework.
Getting the EU to move to a risk-assessment based model was a key recommendation made by CropLife America (CLA) and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) in a March 10 joint submission to U.S. and EU negotiators for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (Inside U.S. Trade, April 18). They urged the EU to make this change through the TTIP in order to avoid causing potential disruptions to trade in the future.
The June 17 roadmap is part of an effort by the commission to revamp the way endocrine disruptors areregulated in the EU by establishing the criteria for what constitutes an endocrine disruptor and by clarifying the regulatory consequences if a substance meets those criteria.
The European Commission currently does not have working criteria for what constitutes an endocrine disruptor, which has hobbled the effectiveness of existing EU law, sources on both sides of the debate say.
In addition, separate EU laws regulating different sectors impose different regulatory consequences on endocrine disruptors, which all sides acknowledge gives rise to inconsistency. For instance, endocrine disruptors are treated differently in EU laws governing pesticides, industrial chemicals, cosmetics and so-called biocides -- a category of products including fungicides and herbicides.
But how this should be addressed is hotly contested. The topic is controversial even between the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV) and Directorate-General for Health & Consumers (DG SANCO), who have joint jurisdiction over the issue, according to EU sources.
Environmental and public health advocates have called for criteria that capture substances that are known or potential endocrine disruptors, regardless of whether or not they demonstrate an immediate adverse effect; they also generally want existing laws to be left unchanged despite the inconsistencies between laws governing pesticides, biocides and cosmetics, for example. Some sources characterized DG ENV as leaning in favor of this approach.
But industry groups argue such an approach could potentially engulf a wide range of substances currently on the market and stifle innovation, without any benefit for consumer safety; they are urging the commission to narrowly tailor any restrictions based on whether a substance shows a clear adverse effect, and to determine whether limiting exposure can allow such a substance to continue to be used safely across all sectors.
Sources characterized DG SANCO, which regulates cosmetics and industrial chemicals, as falling more on this side of the debate and working actively to put its stamp on the language being used in the consultation process, which is being co-led by the two directorates general.
One EU official said an internal consultation between DG ENV, DG SANCO and other directorates with purview over the file -- including DG Trade -- is expected to be finalized by Sept. 5, following the August holidays. This official expected that the consultation would be launched the following week.
Pesticides are regulated in the EU by what is known as the Plant Protection Products Regulation (PPPR).The legislation, brought into force in 2011, includes provisions banning substances having "endocrine disrupting properties which may cause adverse effects" and directed the commission to identify criteria by the end of 2013.
The PPPR takes a hazard-based approach to endocrine disruptors, meaning that if a substance meets the criteria laid out, it is not allowed onto the market regardless of whether mitigating steps can be taken to limit exposure. This model is criticized as excessively restrictive and unscientific by the U.S. and EU pesticide industries, which prefer the risk-assessment based approach used in the United States.
The roadmap lays out three options for how the EU can move forward: make no change; introduce "further elements of risk assessment into sectorial legislation" like the PPPR; or introduce further socioeconomic considerations, including "risk-benefit" analysis.
The latter option refers to the idea that a substance could be approved even if it is detrimental to human health or safety in the event that those costs are outweighed by the broader socioeconomic gains. That could be the case, for instance, in the event of a pest infestation that threatened the food supply.
Clare Thorp, senior director for human health policy at CropLife America, said the European Commission's roadmap moves in a positive direction from a scientific perspective because it appears to indicate willingness to introduce some elements of risk assessment into the process. She added, however, that it remains "far from clear how the commission would implement this approach and whether it would really enable compounds which are not endocrine disruptors (with an adverse effect) to remain on the market."
"The EU is doing things that move in a much better direction, but it is ultimately trying to tweak a really problematic piece of legislation," she said, referring to the PPPR. "As the science has advanced, it is increasingly clear that implementing a hazard based approach to regulating certain pesticides is neither scientifically valid nor more protective of human health."
But Angeliki Lysimachou, a scientist at the Brussels office of the global Pesticide Action Network (PAN), argued in an interview that moving away from the hazard approach is problematic because endocrine disruptors have been shown to produce latent adverse effects that would be not immediately apparent through a standard risk assessment.
Lysimachou also noted that risk assessments do not typically factor in how a substance might affect a person during critical developmental phases, which is when she said exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is potentially most harmful. In a statement on PAN's website reacting to the publication of the roadmap, she said "tiny exposures at the wrong moment in life may induce dramatic consequences: adverse sex organs development, impaired cognition, cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc."
Inside U.S. Trade - 07/25/2014, Vol. 32, No. 30 

PESTICIDES CAUSING ENDOCRINE DISTRUPTION: A TRADE BARRIER OR HUMAN HEALTH ISSUE AT EU

Inside U.S. Trade - 07/25/2014
EU Lays Out 'Endocrine Disruptor' Criteria Options, Setting Stage For Fight
Posted: July 24, 2014
 
After months of delay, the European Commission late last month revealed the options it is weighing for how to define a class of substances known as "endocrine disruptors" that affect human hormones, initiating another round in a fight over an issue that U.S. pesticides and chemicals makers warn has major ramifications for transatlantic trade.
Depending on how EU regulators craft the definition, the term "endocrine disruptor" could sweep in dozens of products and subject them to marketing bans or other restrictions under European laws.
CropLife America, which represents pesticides makers, has warned that a broad definition could cause massive trade disruptions for major U.S. exports of agricultural goods because it would capture the insecticidal products with which crops like tree nuts, fruits, soybeans and peanuts are treated (Inside U.S. Trade, Nov. 15, 2013).
The commission is also considering proposing amendments to EU legislation known as the Plant Protection Products Regulation (PPPR) that would alter the consequences of a pesticide product being classified as an endocrine disruptor, although any such changes are unlikely in the near term (see related story).
The EU revealed the criteria options it is weighing in a June 17 "roadmap" on how it could move forward in regulating endocrine disruptors. The roadmap offers a preview of a questionnaire the commission is expected to issue in September seeking public comment on the best approach.
Under the PPPR and a separate law known as the Biocidal Products Regulation, which governs products like herbicides and fungicides also used on crops, the European Commission was supposed to issue criteria for what constitutes an "endocrine disruptor" by the end of 2013.
But after facing a huge industry outcry, the commission decided to hold off and initiate a public consultation period, in addition to conducting its own assessment of the impact of each possible option.
Since the PPPR's entry into force, the European Commission has relied upon "interim criteria" that identify substances as endocrine disruptors if they have a negative impact on reproductive capabilities. Scientific experts on both sides of the debate say that this approach is blunt and inaccurate because it focuses on adverse symptoms that may or may not be mediated through the endocrine system, and ignores the possibility that they are caused by other maladies.
The new roadmap lays out four options for how to define criteria going forward: leaving in place the current interim criteria; adopting a definition established by the World Health Organization's International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS); using an expanded adaptation of the WHO/IPCS definition; or conversely tweaking the WHO/IPCS definition in such a way that would further narrow the scope of affected products.
Generally speaking, the WHO/IPCS definition would only categorize a substance as an "endocrine disruptor" if there is concrete evidence that it produces an endocrine-mediated adverse effect. Non-governmental groups critical of the pesticides industry argue that this approach is not sufficiently precautionary, especially given continuing disagreement within the scientific community about how endocrine disruptors affect humans.
Angeliki Lysimachou, an expert on endocrine disruptors for Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, said in an interview with Inside U.S. Trade that she would prefer the expanded WHO/IPCS definition foreseen in the roadmap, which would create additional "categories" of endocrine disruptors.
Under this approach, substances with proven adverse effects along with "suspected" endocrine disruptors and "endocrine active" substances would all be captured, imposing restrictions on a broader range of products. The roadmap document, however, indicates that the commission foresees implementing differing degrees of restrictive measures depending on which category a substance falls into.
How the criteria are set will have broader ramifications beyond the pesticides industry. Other pieces of EU legislation governing biocides, cosmetics and industrial chemicals, for example, also place restrictions on substances identified as endocrine disruptors. The PPPR and the Biocidal Product Regulation uniquely required the commission to set criteria for what constitutes an endocrine disruptor, but the commission has said it will apply any criteria horizontally across all different pieces of relevant legislation.
This has especially alarmed the cosmetics industry because of a ban on animal testing it has faced since 2013 under the EU Cosmetics Regulation. Instead, cosmetics firms have to rely on "in vitro" tests -- essentially done on a collection of cells in a petri dish -- to test for potentially harmful effects.
But according to industry experts, determining whether something is an endocrine disruptor requires an analysis of how a substance interacts with a complete endocrine system and therefore cannot be assessed through in vitro testing.
The industry fears a definition that captures substances that do not have demonstrated adverse effects could potentially rope in a range of ingredients currently in use based on existing data, but without any way to prove that they do not have adverse effects. This would stigmatize those products and chill innovation of new ingredient, they argue.
In a February 2014 public submission to the European Commission on the issue, the industry group Cosmetics Europe called for the commission to adopt the WHO/IPCS definition and not broaden it to include other sub-categories. The commission roadmap also warns that because of the ban animal testing for cosmetics ingredients, an expanded WHO/IPCS definition could mean substances would be permanently listed as "endocrine active."
The Cosmetics Regulation, however, does not spell out specific restrictions related to endocrine disurptors, as the PPPR does. Instead, it states that when "[EU] or internationally agreed criteria for identifying substances with endocrine-disrupting properties are available, or at the latest on 11 January 2015, the Commission shall review this Regulation with regard to substances with endocrine-disrupting properties."
Inside U.S. Trade - 07/25/2014, Vol. 32, No. 30  

MASSIVE LOBBYING MONEY SELLS OUT AMERICANS' RIGHT TO LABEL GMO FOOD

The Anti-Label Lobby - Industry Lobbying boils over in bid to block Labels for Genetically Engineered Food

Industry lobbying to block labels for genetically engineered food boils over

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
by Libby Foley, Policy Analyst
Companies and organizations opposed to labeling foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients disclosed $9 million in lobbying expenditures that made reference to GE labeling in the first quarter of 2014 – nearly as much as they spent in all of 2013.
The burst of lobbying by food and biotechnology companies was partly designed to muster Congressional support for legislation that would block states from requiring GE labeling on food packages. That bill, dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act by advocates of GE labeling, was introduced on April 9 by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.).
In May, Vermont became the first state to enact legislation to require GE labeling, although industry has filed suit in an effort to block it. Connecticut and Maine have passed GE labeling laws that would go into effect if other northeastern states pass similar legislation.
Oregon and Colorado voters will consider GE labeling ballot initiatives this fall, and labeling bills have been introduced in 30 other states in 2013 and 2014.
Food and biotechnology companies and organizations disclosed $9.3 million in lobbying expenditures in 2013 that made reference to GE labeling and $9 million in the first quarter of 2014 alone. The forms cite lobbying on GE labeling as well as other policy issues.
In particular, the Grocery Manufacturers Association disclosed $1.2 million in lobbying expenditures that made reference to GE labeling in the first quarter of 2014. The Association’s member organizations separately disclosed another $4.3 million in lobbying expenditures that made reference to GE labeling in the first quarter, including $3.9 million by beverage giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Food industry lobbying in Congress dwarfed that of supporters of GE labeling, who disclosed $1.6 million in lobbying expenditures that made reference to GE labeling in 2013 and just over $400,000 in the first quarter of this year – just one-eighth as much as the opponents. Advocates of GE labeling are supporting legislation introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (R-Ore.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) that would require GE labeling nationwide.
Several companies that produce genetically engineered seeds and herbicides – including Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences – did not report lobbying specifically on either piece of legislation on their 2013 disclosure forms or in the first quarter of 2014. Instead, their reports cited general advocacy on “biotechnology and biotech product issues,” “biotech innovation and regulation” and “biotechnology acceptance.” This language could easily include GE labeling, but that wouldn’t be obvious to the general public.
Lobbying expenditures for the second quarter of 2014 were due Monday (July 21), and the new data will be available by the end of July.

Food and biotechnology companies’ political action committees also reported giving $221,345 in campaign contributions to Pompeo and 22 of the 26 members of Congress who co-sponsored the DARK Act (as of July 9). Eight of them, including Pompeo, serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over GE labeling.
Pompeo was the second-largest recipient of these campaign contributions, and Monsanto’s own PAC was the most generous PAC contributor.

In addition to disclosing $18.4 million in lobbying expenditures that made reference to GE labeling in 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, GE labeling opponents spent $67.9 million to defeat ballot initiatives in California and Washington. EWG did not tally funds expended to lobby state legislatures.

The DARK Act would block any state from requiring GE labels on packaged foods. In addition, it would also allow foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled as “natural” and limit the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to mandate GE labeling nationally.
Instead, the DARK Act would codify existing FDA rules that permit voluntary GE and non-GE labels. To date, no food manufacturer has voluntarily disclosed the presence of GE ingredients in its products.
Americans overwhelmingly support the right to know whether there are genetically engineered ingredients in their food, and recent polls in Oregon and Colorado found that more than three-quarters of voters in those states feel the same way. 

Key Issues: 


Monday, July 28, 2014

CHINA DEALING WITH MASSIVE ILLEGAL GMO RICE CONTAMINATION

Paddy-fields_china

China’s State Media Reveals Unapproved Genetically Modified Rice Is on the Market

Posted on Jul 29 2014 - 1:19am by Sustainable Pulse

CCTV, China’s state broadcaster, has discovered genetically modified rice being sold in two southern provinces, the second such allegation it has made in two years at a time when public opinion seems to have hardened against the technology.
Source: Global Voices
An investigative report aired last Saturday said GM rice was found in the market in southern Hubei and Hunan province, where rice remains the staple food. The allegation by the television network has been substantiated by the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau after samples taken from the two provinces tested positive for GM traces.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have stirred an ongoing global debate since their introduction two decades ago. As a deteriorating environment and decreasing arable land continue to threaten the country’s ability to feed the world’s biggest population, China is looking at various measures including GMO technology to cement its agricultural security.
In China, GM technology was named as one of the key projects part of the National Medium and Long-term Science and Technology Development Plan, which runs through 2020, and Beijing has vowed to invest altogether 20 billion Yuan in major GM research.

In a landmark decision to advance GM technology, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in 2009 granted safety certificates to two strains of GM rice and one GM maize — a move widely interpreted as a signal that the country might soon apply GM technology to its staple food.

But GM rice is an especially sensitive because it is widely consumed in much of southern China and by a vast majority of Han people in the north.

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture maintains that GM rice is still at a research stage and said any commercialisation of it would be illegal. Despite that, CCTV’s report over the weekend, if proved to be true, would highlight the management hiccups behind a state-backed undertaking that might take years to get public on board.

“I think the [GM] technology has already spread out and once GM products are out, it’s hard to recall them [...] most of the rice in Hunan, Hubei, Anhui and Fujian have been contaminated,” the broadcaster quoted a Shanghai-based rice company executive as saying towards the end of the special report.

China is already the world’s largest importer of GMO soybean, with annual imports accounting for about 60 percent of global traded soybean.

 Source:  http://sustainablepulse.com/2014/07/29/chinas-state-media-reveals-unapproved-genetically-modified-rice-market/#.U9bR5UCwUXd

Friday, July 25, 2014

US-EU TRADE DEAL THROWS FOOD SAFTEY AND PUBLIC HEALTH UNDER BUS

For Immediate Release

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Contact: 
Andrew Ranallo
Communications Associate, IATP
(612) 870-3456

Leaked Document Reveals US-EU Trade Agreement Threatens Public Health, Food Safety

WASHINGTON - A draft chapter of the U.S-EU trade agreement leaked today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reveals public health and food safety could be at risk, according to an accompanying analysis. The leaked chapter concerns Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues—those surrounding food safety and animal and plant health—in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated. Only TTIP negotiators and security cleared advisors, mostly corporate representatives, can read and comment on draft negotiating texts.
According to the IATP analysis accompanying release of the leaked document, “This leaked draft TTIP chapter doesn’t tell us everything about where negotiations are headed on food safety, but it tells us enough to raise serious concerns.”
While key details have not been disclosed to the public or remain to be negotiated, the chapter clearly indicates negotiators continue to subordinate SPS regulations to the object of maximizing trade. The text, for example, supports the U.S. approach to not require port of entry food inspections and testing, meaning food contamination outbreaks will be harder to trace to their origin, and liability harder to assess—a win for U.S. meat and food companies that could jeopardize food safety for consumers. Further, the text indicates the trade agreement could make it more difficult to restrict imports from countries with animal or plant diseases, such as Mad Cow Disease or plant fungus outbreaks.
The leaked chapter does acknowledge animal welfare but lacks enforceable language, meaning a U.S. state or EU member state could pass mandatory laws or rules on agriculture animal welfare, but such mandatory measures could not be used to prevent import of products from abused animals. Alternatively, unenforceable trade policy could further the misguided “Right to Farm” legislation under consideration in several states.
“While many key details regarding things like GMOs are still hidden, it’s clear public health is losing out to corporate interests in a big way,” said IATP’s Dr. Steve Suppan, author of the analysis. “Moreover, it’s an affront to democracy that the public need rely on leaked documents to find out how these agreements could affect health and safety.”
The draft chapter would set up a Joint Management Committee to discuss concerns about U.S. and EU SPS regulations. But the draft provides very little information about how this committee or the yet to be negotiated TTIP Oversight Body, to which the Committee reports, would function if discussions did not resolve concerns about the effect of regulations on trade. It is not clear whether the Oversight Body would refer unresolved SPS concerns to the proposed and very controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism. The ISDS would have a private tribunal of trade lawyers, not a public court of law, decide whether U.S. or EU SPS rules, laws or enforcement measures violated TTIP. If the tribunal decided in favor of the complaining investor, the tribunal would determine the compensation that the EU member state or U.S. governments would have to pay investors for loss of anticipated benefits under TTIP.

Read the IATP analysis and the complete leaked chapter text for more information.

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IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.
SOURCE:   http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/07/24/leaked-document-reveals-us-eu-trade-agreement-threatens-public-health-food

MASSIVE PESTICIDE CONTAMINATION IN MIDWEST WATERWAYS

Published on
by

Notorious 'Neonics' Pervasive in Midwest Waters: Study

Researchers from the USGS found the insecticides in waterways of nation's corn, soy region.
A cornfield in Nebraska. (Photo:  Richard Hurd)
A new study has added to mounting evidence against a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, or "neonics."
Linked in numerous studies to bee declines, the new research looks at neonics' impacts on surface water.
Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey looked at 9 rivers and streams in the U.S. Midwest—home to vast plantings of corn and soybeans as well as widespread use of neonics—in the 2013 growing season.
The researchers detected neonics in all the waterways, which included the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. One systemic pesticide, clothianidin, was found in 75 percent of the water samples.
“We noticed higher levels of these insecticides after rain storms during crop planting, which is similar to the spring flushing of herbicides that has been documented in Midwestern U.S. rivers and streams,” USGS scientist Michelle Hladick, the report’s lead author, said in a statement.
“In fact, the insecticides also were detected prior to their first use during the growing season, which indicates that they can persist from applications in prior years,” Hladick stated.
"Concentrations may frequently exceed chronic aquatic toxicity values during growing season," the study states.
"The fact that neonics are pervasively contaminating surface waters should be a wake-up call for state and federal regulators."
—Emily Marquez, Pesticide Action Network
Given the widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides, their persistence in soil, and their high solubility in water, it's not surprising that neonics are ending up in Midwest waterways," said Emily Marquez, PhD, staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network.

"Researchers have recently documented the frequent detection of neonics at varying concentrations in surface waters in the U.S. and Canada," she continued. "The fact that neonics are pervasively contaminating surface waters should be a wake-up call for state and federal regulators, that must move more quickly to reduce and restrict use on farm fields."
The findings of the study, which the USGS touts as the first broad-scale investigation of neonics in the Midwest, were published in Environmental Pollution.
The USGS study comes on the heels of findings by researchers from the Netherlands who noted that concentrations of one neonic called imidacloprid were linked to declines in bird population, suggesting "the impact of neonicotinoids on the natural environment is even more substantial than has recently been reported."
And a global analysis out last month based on 800 peer-reviewed reports found "clear evidence" that neonics pose threats to bees, other pollinators and terrestrial invertebrates like earthworms, which are exposed to neonics through the soil, the treated plant itself and water.
"The global scientific community points to neonics as critical driver of bee declines. Officials should take water contamination as yet another sign that we must act now," Marquez stated.

Friday, July 18, 2014

GMO WHEAT TESTS FROM 1998-2005 IN16 STATES ENDED; 2012 GMO WHEAT DISCOVERED GROWING: STILL A "MYSTERY"

Vilsack: GMO wheat report due in ‘very near term’


By Eric Mortenson
Capital Press


Eric Mortenson/Capital Press U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said a GMO wheat report is expected in the "very near term."

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack acknowledges a GMO wheat investigation, now 15 months old, may not answer every question.

PORTLAND — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he expects a report on the GMO wheat found in Eastern Oregon last year in the “very near term” but cautioned it may contain some question marks.
“I’m not sure we’re going to have every answer,” Vilsack said.
Vilsack, in Portland to discuss the USDA’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program, said his department is working in the meantime to foster coexistence between growers of conventional and genetically engineered crops. Vilsack revived the department’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture for that purpose.
The discovery of GMO wheat last year temporarily disrupted the international export market crucial to Pacific Northwest growers. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has been working on the investigation for 15 months.

Producers have consistently said they don’t want markets threatened again by having a “bomb” dropped on them — a report that shows GMO contamination elsewhere, for example — during harvest this year.

The investigation began in April 2013 when an Eastern Oregon grower noticed that some volunteer wheat plants he sprayed with glyphosate did not die as expected. The 125-acre field had been planted with certified seed in October 2011 and harvested in the summer of 2012, and was lying fallow when they farmer sprayed it — a common practice to control weeds.
Tests at Oregon State University, confirmed by APHIS, showed the plants were a “Roundup Ready” variety developed by Monsanto Co. to withstand the key ingredient in its herbicide.
Monsanto field-tested the variety in 16 states, including Oregon, from 1998 to 2005, but withdrew its application to have it approved because farmers objected. The last testing in Oregon was in 2001, however, and the field where the plants were found was not a test site, which only deepened the mystery.
Buyers in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, the chief markets for Pacific Northwest wheat, are strongly opposed to GMO food products.
Monsanto says its testing protocol was rigidly controlled and that genetically engineered crops pose no hazard to food or feed. APHIS says there’s been no more GMO wheat found and no evidence that it got into commerce. Beyond that, the agency has been silent.

SOURCE:   http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20140717/vilsack-gmo-wheat-report-due-in-very-near-term#.U8k0HED-XCI