APHIS Investigation

U.S. Wheat Industry Welcomes Resumption of All Japanese Wheat Purchases

Tuesday, July 30 – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are pleased that Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) will resume tenders this week for new purchases of U.S. Western White and soft white wheat. MAFF had suspended new purchases of Western White following the announcement in late May by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that volunteer wheat plants with an unapproved genetically modified (GM) trait had been discovered in a single field in Oregon.

The announcement from Japan comes as a result of a thorough, science-based review by MAFF of the ongoing APHIS investigation, as well as a sustained effort by the wheat industry, USDA and many others to provide the information MAFF needed to buy U.S. Western White and soft white wheat again. APHIS and MAFF have now tested hundreds of samples of U.S. wheat and found no evidence of any GM material in commercial supplies, which reaffirms the USDA conclusion that this was a limited, isolated incident.

Wheat farmers and their representatives at USW, NAWG and other organizations strongly value the positive relationships we have with our customers at home and around the world. For our organizations and those wheat farmers, the grower leaders of USW and NAWG express our appreciation to MAFF and all our customers for their reasoned response to this situation and for their continued steadfast support.

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An update from APHIS on its ongoing investigation from July 29, 2013, is HERE.

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Wheat Industry Welcomes Resumption of South Korean Wheat Imports



Wednesday, July 10 - U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are pleased to learn that South Korea will resume purchasing American wheat, which had been temporarily suspended following the  U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) May 29 announcement of the discovery of an unapproved genetically modified (GM) trait in volunteer wheat plants in one field in Oregon.

The Korean decision comes as a result of their extensive testing of American wheat, which resulted in no detections of any GM material in commercial supplies. This reaffirms the USDA conclusion that this was a limited, isolated incident and that no GM wheat had entered commercial supplies.

Nothing is more important than the trust we’ve earned with our customers at home and around the world. USW and the wheat farmers we represent are committed to offering what our customers want and have consistently provided wheat that meets all of South Korea’s strict quality standards.

We will continue to work with authorities in the United States and abroad to understand the details of how this situation occurred while working to ensure that our customers in the United States and abroad have access to high quality American wheat.

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APHIS press release, Q and A and video HERE. The latest update from the agency, issued June 14, 2013, is HERE. (Note information about import delays in the final paragraph conflicts with information gathered by wheat industry organizations, which follows on this page.)

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FDA statements on safety of event in question HERE and HERE.

Best Food Facts addresses questions of food safety from consumers HERE.

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USDA’s GIPSA/FGIS statement that “no transgenic wheat varieties for sale or in commercial production in the United States at this time” is HERE.

Additional letter, dated May 31, 2013, from GIPSA.

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Monsanto website page on biotech wheat.

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Background on how scientists perform testing related to this issue is outlined in this Capital Press article

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Statement from Washington State University (WSU) on GM Wheat Situation/Testing (via Washington Grain Alliance)

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Latest Information on the Export Market Situation Following APHIS Announcement, June 7, 2013

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USW and NAWG Statement on Japan and Korea Suspending Purchases of Soft White Wheat, May 31, 2013

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USW and NAWG Statement on Japan Possibly Suspending Purchases of Soft White Wheat, May 30, 2013

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NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates Statement in Response to USDA Announcement on May 29, 2013

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Media contacts:

USDA – APHIS: Ed Curlett
(301) 851-4052

Monsanto: Tom Helscher
(314) 694-3730
thomas.m.helscher@monsanto.com

National Association of Wheat Growers: Melissa Kessler
(202) 489-6962
mkessler@wheatworld.org

U.S. Wheat Associates: Steve Mercer
(202) 489-6962
smercer@uswheat.com

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