Wednesday night on “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert asked why everyone is getting so upset about the spontaneous appearance in an Oregon field of Monsanto’s herbicide-resistant “Roundup Ready” wheat plants, in spite of the fact that all strains of the genetically modified organism (GMO) crop were supposedly destroyed in 2005.
Colbert began the segment by saying that he has a long history of standing up for the underdogs of America, like ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs.
“Well, now another defenseless multinational is being unfairly attacked because of a little slip-up,” said Colbert.
He was referring to the strain of Roundup Ready wheat found in an Oregon farmer’s field. Thus far, the USDA and the company itself have been at odds to explain where the supposedly eradicated wheat came from.
“And then, just to make sure nobody found the remains,” Colbert explained, “they buried that wheat in the middle of a field.”
The host chided countries like Japan that have declined shipments of Oregon wheat on the grounds that they might be tainted by GMO crops. “May I remind you,” he said to the Japanese people, “you eat raw octopus taint?”
Everybody needs to relax, though, he said, “There is nothing to fear from Monsanto’s genetically modified un-killable mystery wheat, or as I like to call it, the amber waves of Franken-grain.”
He then welcomed science writer Laurie Garrett, who sits on the Council of Foreign Relations and who said that the latest theory from Monsanto as to how the wheat came to be growing spontaneously in a field is “sabotage.”
“It’s very strange,” she said, “because there’s no way the seeds could survive in the soil for more than a couple of years.”
Colbert asked if there is any danger from consuming the modified crop “because,” he said, “people are calling it ‘zombie wheat.’ It’s the return of the walking bread.”
Garrett said that she doesn’t know of any risks to human health, but that Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who represents Monsanto’s home state, has inserted a provision into a recent agriculture bill that prohibits farmers from suing the company for damage caused by Monsanto products for a period of six months, beginning in March, 2013.
“So,” Colbert said, “this crop that came out of nowhere and then Monsanto said they have no idea where it came from just happened to appear during the time where Monsanto’s got a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card?”
“Go figure,” replied Garrett.
Watch the video, embedded below via Comedy Central: