Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kansas Farmer Sues Monsanto Over GMO Wheat Discovery

On June 3, 2013, Ernest Barnes, a Kansas wheat farmer, filed suit against Monsanto in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The complaint alleges eight causes of action including gross negligence, public nuisance and failure to comply with the Plant Protection Act. In 1998 Monsanto began testing genetically modified wheat in fields across the United States including fields in Kansas. Monsanto decided to stop testing in 2005 and as a result the wheat was never approved for sale or cultivation. In April 2013, however, an Oregon farmer discovered the unapproved genetically engineered wheat growing where he had not planted any wheat. Barnes claims the discovery has financially injured him and other local farmers by driving down the price of wheat and causing several international buyers, including Japan, to suspend their U.S. wheat purchases. Furthermore, Barnes claims Monsanto knew there was a high risk that other varieties of wheat could be contaminated by the genetically modified wheat and Monsanto failed to follow the proper procedures to prevent contamination.  The case is docketed at 13-CV-1218-MLB-KHM.

Written By Clara Conklin - Research Assistant
Penn State Law- Agricultural Law Center
June 6, 2013

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