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Japan halts some U.S. imports after modified wheat found

40 Comments
By MARY CLARE JALONICK and NIGEL DUARA

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40 Comments
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This sounds like a big case of "It's not mine! I'm holding it for a friend!"

5 ( +8 / -3 )

GMO are poison food. USA doing this for years already.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

I am sure this will add to the price of bread and all other wheat based foods, along with the Yen rate causing an increase already...Yeah for GMO!...Yeah for Abenomics! Those are sarcastic Yeahs by the way!

"It looked like regular wheat" ??? ...What does he think, it has GMO printed on each grain?

I say Monsanto most likely did this on purpose so they can stop all the farmers from replanting their own seeds because they were pollinated by the Monsanto seeds when it gets approved. just like the corn! But, that is the just the conspiracy theorist in me talking. The former Monsanto Exec. Appointed to the Head of the F.D.A. might help in the approval process, just like Clarence Thomas who was the Judge who did not recuse himself from the Monsanto case before the Supreme Court! He used to be a lawyer for Monsanto!

1 ( +6 / -4 )

GMO "Genetically Modified Food" is not a poison. Human is modifying genes for decades. "HYBRID" is a kind of GMO too. The only problem with new GMO is greedy companies are inserting "disease resistive genes" into these crops.

1 ( +8 / -6 )

Good keep this crap out of the country. Monsanto owns the USA they should stop there.

6 ( +14 / -9 )

Not decades - millenia of selective breeding. Just about every food in a supermarket has been "genetically modified", the grains we consume would be unrecognizable to us in their original forms. Why would GMO be dangerous?

-4 ( +7 / -10 )

Meguroman - seriously? selective breeding does not insert genes from other species into the gene pool like GMO does. You can see the danger there? And its not only dangerous in terms of crops - have you seen the way companies like monsanto leave farmers in ruin by taking over their land if monsanto branded GMO seed happens to end up in their crop?

Learn the difference between the two please - too much is at stake for such comments.

8 ( +14 / -7 )

Here's a coincidence spiked with a bit of irony...

One reason I came to live in Japan was I prefer the traditional Japanese diet, i.e. little to no wheat. I'm from Oregon.

@Meguroman

Why would GMO be dangerous?

GMOs have given rats enormous tumors in their stomachs. Bon Appetite!

1 ( +7 / -7 )

The Monsanto Effect

1 ( +3 / -2 )

GMOs have given rats enormous tumors in their stomachs. Bon Appetite!

This is what is known as bad science. Someone makes up a study, and since it fits their pre-conceived ideas, everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Oh, but then we look at the data, and the whole thing falls apart. Whoops. Still, goes along with the idiocy that GM foods = Poison.

-3 ( +6 / -8 )

whether there was any criminal wrongdoing

Whether ? As if Monsanto could be suspected of being even remotely honest.

Why would GMO be dangerous?

Why wouldn't they ? Over history, people have lived countless ecological disaster with a plant either invading all others, causing desertification or becoming dangerous to ingest. Currently bees are dying and disappearing, which is really worrying no ? The restrictions are made for a good reasons. Businesses that don't obey the rules should dismantled.

6 ( +9 / -4 )

Well okay, I can generate some scenarios, possible or impossible.

Scenario number one. You take a gene from, say, a peanut, and cross it with some soybeans. Works great for some things, but now a whole bunch of people who were only allergic to peanuts are now allergic to soybeans as well.

Scenario number two. You engineer something to survive really well, like the stuff above. It gets out of the lab, like the stuff above, crosses with something, and it takes over. Now everything has a little of the engineered product in it, it's hard to get rid of, and when some disease that affects it finally does arrive, it wipes out not only the GMO stuff, but everything else that it crossed with as well. There goes the whole crop. Now what? Luckily the turnips are still good.

Scenario number three. You engineer something to survive really well, but some unforseen effect occurs, one that can't be predicted. The bugs won't eat because it is designed to kill them or repel them, but in some strange way it affects humans. We thought we understood all the effects, but whoops, we didn't. Now you have a mess, a product that can't be eaten, and no food supply.

Scenario number get a grip. The FDA LIKES GMO foods, and didn't approve this Monsanto product. Shouldn't you ask why?

14 ( +15 / -2 )

FarmboyMay. 31, 2013 - 06:02PM JST

The FDA LIKES GMO foods, and didn't approve this Monsanto product. Shouldn't you ask why?

My thoughts exactly. And, Monsanto gave up on its application for approval.... also makes you wonder why...

8 ( +8 / -1 )

Well Australia will sell you Wheat , Not modified or irradiated. Not grown near Nuclear waste .Guaranteed to Be Wheat and not a substitute. Genuine Good old Aussie Wheat at Top dollar

4 ( +6 / -3 )

GMO are poison food.

Why? Why would you think that?

99% of soy beans produced in the US are already genetically modified, and people aren't keeling over dead because of it. Certainly there are potential risks involved with genetic modifications - necessitating a code of ethics an proper safety standards, but its not like crazy cross species combos are the only sort of GM out there - despite the fact that such hypothetical combinations are immediately trotted out by critics whenever GM is mentioned; in fact, most of it is manipulating genes already present within the species.

In 100 years or so, GM foods will be standard. The current fear of GM is nothing more than a fear of science; a backwards Luddite impulse which is doing incalculable damage. GM products like golden corn could potentially wipe out starvation in Africa, but scaremongering and opposition - largely from Europe - have prevented this from happening. I am all for proceeding with caution on the development of GM foods, put there needs to be progress and not blanket rejection; and if it is corporate control of the food supply which is worrying you, then a robust patent system, where the patents expire after a reasonable number of years, is what is needed.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

All you need to know about "genetically modified foods" is that Monsanto and many of our politicians here in the states do not want you to have the right to know when GM ingredients are in your food. So they are not proud of their products, not at all! Now if that is not telling you something, nothing will.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Meh. If you don't want to be eating food genetically modified by humans, then you're going to have to go back in time about 10,000 years or so. Humans have been genetically modifying their food since the first hunter/gatherers noticed that some plants produced more food than others of the same type, and started breeding the better attributes together to improve their yield.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ Fadamor

Humans have not been doing that, please do some research on what genetic modification is. It is a modern tech, it is not like cross breeding and similar techniques. It uses methods that cannot occur naturally.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Many countries around the world will not accept imports of genetically modified foods, and the United States exports about half of its wheat crop.

Ha.

Why can't people see through the GMO ruse? This is purely an economic move to attempt to enable local farmers to compete against the infinitely more efficient American agriculture industry.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

http://preventdisease.com/news/12/011612_Modern-Wheat-Really-Isnt-Wheat-At-All.shtml

So how--and when--did this ancient grain become such a serious health threat? Author and preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, says it's when big agriculture stepped in decades ago to develop a higher-yielding crop. Today's "wheat," he says, isn't even wheat, thanks to some of the most intense crossbreeding efforts ever seen. "The wheat products sold to you today are nothing like the wheat products of our grandmother's age, very different from the wheat of the early 20th Century, and completely transformed from the wheat of the Bible and earlier," he says.

Plant breeders changed wheat in dramatic ways. Once more than four feet tall, modern wheat--the type grown in 99 percent of wheat fields around the world--is now a stocky two-foot-tall plant with an unusually large seed head. Dr. Davis says accomplishing this involved crossing wheat with non-wheat grasses to introduce altogether new genes, using techniques like irradiation of wheat seeds and embryos with chemicals, gamma rays, and high-dose X-rays to induce mutations.

Go with rice breads instead if you have intestinal issues with wheat.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/against-the-grain-how-wheat-wrecks-your-health.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Humans have not been doing that, please do some research on what genetic modification is. It is a modern tech, it is not like cross breeding and similar techniques. It uses methods that cannot occur naturally.

Pop quiz, genius. Just what do you think is done when cross-breeding is performed? The genes of the plant/animal are modified. If the genes have been modified, then it is "genetic modification". You can't change the meaning of words just because it's inconvenient for your argument.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think they are too late discovering modified foods here in Japan. Just look at the size of Japanese kids today. I noticed that they are much larger than their parents. You can tell who have been raised on processed American fast foods and snacks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I like GM crops. Monsanto ended its work on GM wheat in response to concerns from wheat growers that this exact thing would happen and cause wheat exports to decline. (More money can be made exporting non-GM wheat than can be made exporting GM wheat.)

GM grains (corn and soy bean) die out naturally. Yes, they can self replicate for a few years, a few generations of the plant's life, but with each successive generation fewer new plants emerge. No GM grain would continue for decades if left unattended. Other plants would displace the GM grain.

GM grains do not mix with other plants to create new monster plants--that is not how genetics works.

Horrifying to Monsanto, and wonderful to opponents of GM grains, is evidence that GM grains are failing. About 2003 in Delaware a farmer sprayed a weed (a horseweed) with Roundup (glyphosate) and it lived--the Harry Potter of weeds. The beauty of Roundup and GM grains is that one can spray the whole field killing everything except the grain. If that no longer works, then no farmer will be buying GM seed, which happens to be really expensive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

666...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Iowan: Great information. Everyone else, mind your manners.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The U.S. Government is trying to pass legislation to protect Monsanto from future lawsuits of the side effects of GMO's. Monsanto has a long standing relationship with the Government. Agent Orange was made by Monsanto.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The beauty of Roundup and GM grains is that one can spray the whole field killing everything except the grain.

That is the problem with GM and the herbicides used ==> everything except the GM crop dies.

Big protests against Monsanto (blackout in mainstream media) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/26/millions-march-against-monsanto

http://www.naturalnews.com/040483_March_Against_Monsanto_rally_photos.html

Big fight with Facebook over this with images of the protest being blocked or taken down.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I see the anti-science crowd has been busy.

GMO foods are perfectly safe.

Perhaps organic foods pose a real danger. Varieties grown by organic farmers are chosen for having higher insect and disease tolerance. Those same "naturally" occurring chemicals produced by those varieties to ward off insects are poison and can introduce toxins into people.

All food contains "dangerous" naturally occurring chemicals. That is why governments set strict limitations on the amount of things like ergot and mycotoxins that are allowed in wheat for human consumption.

I would be much more concerned about the thousands of naturally occurring chemicals in a tomato that are unregulated than scientifically proven-to-be-safe, regulated GM foods.

Would an anti-science, anti-GMO nut worry about ingesting tomatine from eating an unripe tomato or eating fried green tomatoes?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I see the anti-science crowd has been busy.

It's more like an "anti-reason" crowd. I mean, they cite countless articles that make statements like "GMOs confirmed to cause cancer" and other ridiculous things, yet if you follow the breadcrumbs from site to site and find the original study those sources cited, the conclusion is, invariably, "there is not a strong enough correlation to reach any definite conclusion on causation," or something to that matter. But, because they read it in an article on www.monsantoisworkingwithsatan.com, they immediately believe these gross misrepresentations of science.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Then don't trust the studies done by corporations. They only make up less than five percent of the total research on any given topic. This is especially true with GMO products. Think about it, why would Monsanto spend money on research and studies if there are thousands of them already being done, and nobody would trust their research anyways? They only do what they're legally obligated to do, then leave the rest up to the scientific community. There's not much hope since the corporations have genetically modified lawyers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

GM grains (corn and soy bean) die out naturally. Yes, they can self replicate for a few years, a few generations of the plant's life, but with each successive generation fewer new plants emerge. No GM grain would continue for decades if left unattended. Other plants would displace the GM grain. GM grains do not mix with other plants to create new monster plants--that is not how genetics works.

What I love is how some people who HAVEN'T done the work to read about GM products imagine themselves as proponents of the scientific point of view fighting against a sea of ignorance.

Got some time? At least read enough to understand that there are some real issues, and not everything about GM is so neat and tidy and positive and simple.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=genetically-modified-crop

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What I love is how some people who HAVEN'T done the work to read about GM products imagine themselves as proponents of the scientific point of view fighting against a sea of ignorance.

You will at least acknowledge that the same goes for opposition to GMOs; the indisputable fact that there are real issues should not automatically lead to blanket condemnation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

the indisputable fact that there are real issues should not automatically lead to blanket condemnation.

I think taking irreversible steps with the food supply ought to be done with a lot more caution than has been shown to date. Blanket condemnation until we know more will probably not disrupt the food supply, unless we've already engineered ourselves into that position.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Blanket condemnation until we know more will probably not disrupt the food supply, unless we've already engineered ourselves into that position.

It's not a matter of engineering, it's a matter of the course of the human race. The U.S. has to grow enough food to feed the world, because no other country can. No other country can farm at an efficiency level anywhere near ours, due to multiple factors (farmable land availability is a big one). Unless we see a significant drop in the global human population, we need to use the scientific methods at our disposal to be able to meet the world's demand.

Other countries just aren't fond of how much better we are at farming than them, and enact the bans on GMOs, etc. purely out of protectionism.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The beauty of Roundup and GM grains is that one can spray the whole field killing everything except the grain.

Leaving aside all the talk about 'frankenfoods', why on earth would anyone eat to eat food that had been drenched in deadly chemicals?

GM grains do not mix with other plants to create new monster plants--that is not how genetics works.

GM plants, like non-GM plants, can and do cross-pollinate with other plants from the same family.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=genetically-modified-crop

transgenic canola plants are cross-pollinating in the wild—and swapping introduced genes. ...."They had novel combinations of transgenic traits," Sagers says. "The most parsimonious explanation is these traits are stable outside of cultivation and they are evolving."

canola is capable of hybridizing with at least two—and possibly as many as eight—wild weed species in North America, including field mustard (Brassica rapa), which is a known agricultural pest. "Not only is it going to jump out of cultivation; there are sexually compatible weeds all over North America," ... "It becomes a weed [farmers] can't control.

Would an anti-science, anti-GMO nut worry about ingesting tomatine from eating an unripe tomato or eating fried green tomatoes?

Noting that anyone who disagrees with you is a 'nut', why on earth would anyone nutty enough to be interested in eating good food want to eat an unripe tomato?

some people who HAVEN'T done the work to read about GM products imagine themselves as proponents of the scientific point of view fighting against a sea of ignorance.

If Monsanto and others want me to buy and eat their products, like any other company they have to convince me that it's something I want to buy. Instead they stamp their little feet and pout that their product is just the same as non-GMO. As a consumer who doesn't feel the urge to read scientific tomes before every trip to the supermarket, I find myself asking, Why are they spending all this money on research to make something that's just the same as what's already on the shelves? Why are they so reluctant to tell me about their product? Is they're so good, why aren't their virtues emblazoned all over the label/packaging, like with other products?

The U.S. has to grow enough food to feed the world

If the virtue of GMOs is that they can feed starving Africa, why is Monsanto selling it to rich Americans and trying to sell it to rich Europeans and rich Japanese? Let's be honest, the seed companies and the farmers they sell to, who may be very nice blokes who give to charity, are not in business for altruistic reasons. They're in it to make a buck.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If the virtue of GMOs is that they can feed starving Africa, why is Monsanto selling it to rich Americans and trying to sell it to rich Europeans and rich Japanese? Let's be honest, the seed companies and the farmers they sell to, who may be very nice blokes who give to charity, are not in business for altruistic reasons. They're in it to make a buck.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'd never insinuate a corporation's goal was anything but profit. My statement was based purely on an economic basis. There's a reason food is cheaper in the U.S. than pretty much everywhere else in the world (leading to both higher obesity rates and better football teams). We need to make food to sell to those countries because they're too inefficient to properly meet their own domestic demand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's a reason food is cheaper in the U.S. than pretty much everywhere else in the world (leading to both higher obesity rates and better football teams)

Oh dear. There's a reason MakkyDee's is cheaper than pretty much any half-decent restaurant, and it isn't hi-tech. (Hint - the 'food' is rubbish)

Higher obesity rates are not in a country's favour when it comes to selling food - I don't want to eat stuff, no matter how cheap, that's going to make me look like that. Nor do I want huge corporations sneaking it in unlabelled.

Football teams - you mean American football? lol Certainly not what the rest of the world calls football....

We need to make food to sell to those countries because they're too inefficient to properly meet their own domestic demand.

Or maybe because America has all them wide open spaces just begging to be hoed and planted en masse. Bit heavy to take a natural resource and call it a virtue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The firm running the canteen at Monsanto's pharmaceuticals factory at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, serves only GM-free meals, Friends of the Earth said. In a notice in the canteen, Sutcliffe Catering, owned by the Granada Group, said it had taken the decision "to remove, as far as practicable, GM soya and maize from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve."

=Eat GMO at your own risk. Even the Monsanto scientists demand not to eat it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan has suspended some imports of U.S. wheat after a genetically engineered version of the grain was found on a U.S. farm.

The Agriculture Department announced the discovery of the modified wheat on Wednesday. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming.

Bad. My family is farming the best Winter Wheat in N. D. This will hurt many good honest US farmers.

Well, Japan, go elsewhere to buy the best wheat until US comes clean on this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/Biotech_Report_US.pdf

Goes over Monsanto - US State Dept wikileaks documents

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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