Heavy criticism has already hit Monsanto, including a lawsuit filed Monday by a U.S. farmer who is alleging the seed company was negligent in allowing its experimental seed to escape its control.
Monsanto countered that its wheat development program was "government-directed, rigorous and well-documented and audited."
The field trials were conducted under a streamlined system known as "notification," which is more lenient than the tightly controlled permitting process.
Under the permit process, companies must establish buffer areas around field trial sites to help avoid contamination of neighboring fields; to use only dedicated machinery and storage facilities for GMO material; and train personnel. Annual inspections are required.
Under the notification process, there are fewer field inspections and regulators rely largely on developers like Monsanto for evaluating and reporting the adequacy of their controls.
Over time, more and more field trials have come under the notification process and it now accounts for the vast majority of field trials on biotech crops.
In light of the discovery in Oregon, USDA should assess its review process, said U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
"This incident underscores the need for an agency review of field-testing practices to determine how to avoid this situation in the future," he said.
Again, who could've possibly predicted that allowing massive corporations to police themselves would result in anything but glorious positive outcomes and rainbow sparkleponies for all? Inconceivable.
Also, thankfully we have an actual progressive Democratic Senator now in Merkley that isn't in the corporate pocket like his predecessor Smith was, and isn't a traditional, wishy-washy, centrist, Paul Ryan-lovin' "normal" Democrat.
(*Note: not urgent at all)