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Ruling out natural causes, experts say ‘rogue breeder’ planted illegal GMO wheat in Canada

| | August 7, 2018
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Image: Natural Society
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A handful of unwelcome plants growing on the side of a road in Alberta were all it took to stop two Asian governments from accepting Canadian wheat.

The stalks were found to be genetically modified wheat …. But …. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) representatives still can’t explain how they got there.

Canada …. has a cereal killer on its hands and suspects range from activists to sloppy geneticists.

Alan McHughen [a molecular geneticist] at the University of California  …. said this seemingly loopy hypothesis about the wheat’s origins should be taken seriously.

Occasionally, wheat plants will naturally cross-pollinate …. If the mating plants are not identical, the resulting kernels will contain genetic traits from both contributors, creating hybrid seeds.

Related article:  Debate over GMO, CRISPR crop rules 'essential' as EU agriculture adapts to changing climate

This is called outcrossing and it is rare in wheat …. Outcrossing, however, is detectable thanks to DNA fingerprinting of the plants. The CFIA has determined [that the illegal wheat] did not sneak out of old test plots …. this way.

“It sounds more and more like a rogue breeder was doing his [or] her own breeding …. ,” Mr. McHughen said.

Tom Clemente, a biotechnology professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln …. says activists opposed to genetically modified plants …. are to blame ….

…. “The way it occurred sounds more like somebody sprinkled some seeds. They knew it was there.”

Read full, original article: ‘Inexplicable’ genetically modified Alberta wheat signals to possible cereal killer

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