Wheat is essential to the global diet, but a number of serious issues, including a steady decline in planted area and growing world demand, threaten its supply. Advances like biotechnology will help farmers grow more and better wheat with less impact on the environment.
As new technologies are developed, including biotechnology, the industry’s top priorities are quality, safety and delivering what our customers demand. As with other crops, biotech wheat must be subject to extensive scientific testing and thorough government approval processes here and around the world.
It is important to remember that organizations representing U.S. wheat farmers support research and eventually commercialization of biotech traits in their crop. But they recognize that regulatory approvals for food and feed use must first be secured in major wheat export markets. In addition, commercialization must not impair the ability of non-biotech wheat to meet commercially recognized thresholds for the low-level presence of biotech traits. Appropriate international tolerances for biotech wheat in non-biotech shipments must be established and accepted in major export markets.
On behalf of U.S. wheat farmers who take this situation very seriously, USW wants to thank its customers for actively participating in the sensitive work with multiple parties to move toward re-opening the Japanese and Korean markets to new purchases of U.S. western white wheat. We remain hopeful that a mutually acceptable position can be reached soon with our customers and government officials.
For more information:
Public statements from APHIS on its investigation:
FDA statements on safety of the Roundup Ready event in question:
USDA’s GIPSA statement that there are “no transgenic wheat varieties for sale or in commercial production in the United States at this time:”
National Association of Wheat Growers:
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” The activities of USW are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org or contact your state wheat commission.