U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) have been made aware of unconfirmed reports that the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, or MAFF, has imposed an “import restriction” on soft white wheat from the United States. In fact, U.S. Wheat Associates has received no official word of such a restriction. Yesterday, MAFF did decide not to purchase U.S. white wheat in its regular tender because of the announcement from USDA that an unauthorized Roundup Ready GM trait was detected in volunteer wheat on a single farm in Oregon. MAFF did purchase U.S. hard red spring wheat and hard red winter wheat in that tender, however.
There is no reason for governments to establish a restriction on U.S. wheat as the USDA made it clear yesterday that there is no evidence suggesting that this materials has entered commercial supplies and that there is no health risk associated with it.
However, nothing is more important than the trust we’ve earned with our customers at home and around the world by providing a reliable supply of high-quality wheat. Japan is clearly a valued customer of the American wheat industry. We will cooperate with authorities in the United States and Japan to understand the facts surrounding this incident and we are now working closely with our valued customers to help them make informed decisions about wheat imports as the U.S. government shares more facts about this situation from their investigation.