MT Wheat Farmers Seek Change - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

MT Wheat Farmers Seek Change

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Some Montana farmers are upset a genetically modified, or GM, wheat crop may be invading their harvest. A GM wheat test plot was found on one Oregon farm, and Montana farmers are concerned there aren't enough safeguards to prevent the spread of GM wheat.

After genetically modified wheat crop was found in one Oregon farmer's crop, some farmers in Montana are concerned the GM crop will spread to farms in the northwest, and affect the economy.

Montana farmer Helen Waller says countries like Japan and Taiwan are rejecting the purchase of wheat from American wheat farmers, because they're afraid GM wheat will show up in their crops.

"If you destroy our market you destroy the very viability of the farmers, the communities that depend on the farming income," says Waller.

But according to Southern Agricultural Research Center's Ken Kephart, the GM crop is an isolated incident.

"It has not been found in surrounding fields and it is not been found in seed lots associated with the lots that were used to originally plant this field in Oregon," says Kephart.

And Kephart isn't worried the GM crop will spread to other farms.

"At the present time we are not concerned about wide spread of contamination of round up ready wheat in the United States," says Kephart.

GM wheat cannot be grown commercially in the US, the USDA doesn't allow it. But Waller says there needs to be more safeguards in place by the USDA, for those who choose not to buy GM commodities. Waller believes a labeling bill should be created to show whether certain crops are genetically modified.

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