USDA Tried to Hide GE Bentgrass Contamination

The Capital Press reports that USDA didn’t disclose the spread of Roundup Ready bentgrass from a test plot in western Idaho to irrigation ditches in eastern Oregon. Weed scientist Carol Mallory-Smith from Oregon State University “decided to act on her own” by alerting¬† the department of agriculture, Scott’s Company, and plaintiffs in the Roundup Ready sugar beet lawsuit. Roundup Ready bentgrass is not approved for commercial use and is still in the field trial stage. The Environmental Protection Agency first published evidence of gene flow from GE bentgrass in 2004.

“The issue for me was, I thought it should be disclosed to both sides of the sugar beet lawsuit,” Mallory-Smith said. “It may not have any legal implications, but in fairness to both sides, I thought it should be disclosed.” The information was introduced by Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff during a sugar beet evidentiary hearing on Nov. 4. (More updates on the sugar beet case soon.)

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