A class action lawsuit was filed June 6, 2013 on behalf of Pacific Northwest wheat farmers and Center for Food Safety (CFS) following the discovery of illegal genetically engineered (GE), glyphosate-resistant wheat plants. Created by Monsanto, the GE crops are not approved for sale or commercial production in the U.S. The presence of these crops spurred top wheat importers to enact restrictions on American wheat or call for testing.
Monsanto conducted field tests of its GE wheat plants in 16 states from 1998 to 2005, but never commercialized the controversial crop. Wheat farmers have long argued that GE wheat would contaminate conventional wheat, making it unsellable to markets that reject GE products. CFS and Washington white wheat farmers are representing the broad class of farmers affected by the contamination, seeking relief and forcing Monsanto to clean up the contamination and ensure that it never happens again.
The farmers are also seeking compensatory damages resulting from the contamination of the general wheat supply in the form of diminished prices for soft white wheat, resulting from the loss of export and domestic markets for wheat, and increased grower costs, resulting from the need to maintain the integrity of the soft white wheat supply.