Questions and Answers

Product Information

Monsanto Field Trial Research

Seed Viability and Pollen Information

Testing Information


Product Information

Is the Roundup Ready wheat event safe for humans and animals?
Yes. The FDA completed its safety consultation in 2004. FDA recognized the safety of grain and forage derived from this wheat, meaning that this variety of wheat is as safe for food and feed use as non-GM wheat varieties now on the market.

FDA’s summary can be found here:

FDA’s letter can be found here:

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Monsanto Field Trial Research

Where are the locations Monsanto carried out field trials of Roundup Ready wheat?
As the USDA’s communication materials note, APHIS authorized over 100 field tests with this specific glyphosate-resistant wheat trait in years spanning from 1998 through 2005. Field tests were conducted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Monsanto does not disclose specific locations of the company’s field trials out of respect of and to ensure the safety of the third party cooperators with whom we work.

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Did Monsanto ever grow Roundup Ready wheat in field trials in the state of Oregon?
Monsanto has previously conducted field trials of Round Ready wheat in Oregon, however, those trials were Spring Wheat--not Winter Wheat. Monsanto has never grown a Winter Wheat field trial in the state of Oregon.

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Did Monsanto ever conduct a Roundup Ready wheat field trial in the exact area in question in state of Oregon?
No. Monsanto has not been made aware of the precise location of the field in question, but available information indicates that we did not have any Roundup Ready wheat field trials in close proximity.

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When was the last field trial of Roundup Ready wheat planted in Oregon?
The last approved field trial of Roundup Ready wheat in Oregon was in 2001.

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Seed Viability and Pollen Information

 

Is it possible that a Roundup Ready wheat seed could be viable and germinate in the soil after 12 years?
Plant breeders, both at Monsanto and within the wheat industry, agree that this is highly unlikely under normal field conditions and current agronomic practices based on the physiology of wheat seeds. Wheat seed only remains viable in the soil for 1 to 2 years.

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Is it possible that the Roundup Ready wheat event could be present because of pollen drift from one of the company’s historic field trials conducted in Oregon?
The company’s internal assessments suggest that wheat pollen flow does not serve as a reasonable explanation behind this reported detection at this time. Because available information indicates that no Roundup Ready wheat trials were in close proximity to the field in question, pollen drift is not a likely source of any presence of the Roundup Ready trait in the wheat found in the field. Wheat is predominantly a self-pollinating plant and research highlights that 99 percent of wheat pollen moves less than 30 feet from its source.

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What is the potential for out-crossing in wheat?
Wheat is a predominately self-pollinated crop. Published studies demonstrate that out crossing in wheat is very limited. In addition, governmental field trial requirements are designed to limit out crossing. These standards are rigorously followed and include careful monitoring.

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Has Monsanto received a copy of the samples to also verify the reported findings?
We have asked for information necessary to confirm the presence of the Roundup Ready trait in the samples that were tested.  Monsanto has not been provided samples necessary to verify these reported findings.

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Testing Information

Has Monsanto received details about the testing that was used to verify the reported findings?
Monsanto has not received details about the testing the USDA performed to verify these reported findings.

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What testing needs to be done?
The necessary testing requires sophisticated methods, considerable expertise and meticulous laboratory techniques to generate reliable results. Commercial test strips, which are used to detect the presence of glyphosate tolerance in soybeans, canola, cotton and sugar beets, generate a very high incidence of false positive detections (greater than 90 percent) and are not reliable for wheat. We are not aware that validated tests for wheat are commercially available today.

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