Monsanto: Sabotage May Be Behind Franken-Wheat
But scientists say this kind of thing crops up all the time
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2013 7:06 AM CDT
Updated Jun 6, 2013 7:30 AM CDT
Three combines harvest the winter wheat in this 2009 file photo.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

(Newser) – Monsanto still isn't sure how its banned genetically modified wheat wound up in an Oregon field, but it's got one theory: sabotage. On a conference call with reporters, the company said the so-called "franken-wheat" incident was probably the result of "accidental or purposeful mixing of seed," the Wall Street Journal reports. Asked if that "purposeful" indicated sabotage, he replied, "That's certainly one of the possibilities we're looking at," though he added that they were "certainly not implicating the farmer at all."

But scientists tell the New York Times that this kind of thing actually happens all the time, though usually with approved strains. Farmers are so used to finding unwanted genetically-altered crops in their fields that they've come to think of them as particularly hard to kill weeds. They also say the wheat, currently growing on only 1% of a single 125-acre farm, is unlikely to spread.