Roundup Ready Alfalfa Investigation & Commitment To Working On Yakima Basin Funding
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Earlier this year Japan and South Korea temporarily put a hold on buying some U.S. wheat because an experimental GMO variety was found growing in a field of conventional wheat in Oregon. Now, tests on alfalfa seed provided by a Washington grower have shown low levels of the Roundup Ready trait. The grower's alfalfa hay was rejected by a broker after testing positive for the trait. According to the WSDA, the grower then alerted the department, which has since conducted tests on the alfalfa seed provided by the grower. The WSDA has not disclosed the exact levels of the Roundup Ready trait found in the seed, but it has stated that it is "within the ranges acceptable to much of the marketplace". While Roundup Ready alfalfa was approved for use by the USDA in 2011, the grower bought and planted what he believed to be conventional alfalfa seed. State and federal agencies are determining what steps should be taken next in the investigation.
During an Energy and Natural Resources hearing this week Senator Maria Cantwell secured a commitment from the nominee for Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Michael Connor, that the Administration would work on funding the $5 million Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, a plan to restore historic salmon runs, and provide more water for irrigators, while improving the general health of the basin.
CONNOR: It's a great collaborative program with all the different stakeholders have put together, a good plan. It's a long-term effort and we recognize that but we intend at the Department of Interior and all of our different areas to keep working with those folks in implementing that plan."
CANTWELL: You know we've had two droughts and it's cost us something like $335 million in economic damage so I'm hoping that you will work with us on finding a funding source as well.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.