October 4, 2014
Japan and South Korea may stop testing of US wheat
Japan and South Korea may soon stop testing US wheat imports, conducted over concerns that they may be contaminated with experimental strains developed by Monsanto, according to the head of a US wheat association.
The practices came about after news broke that a farmer in Oregon, US, had discovered Monsanto's unapproved biotech wheat growing in his field. So far, test results on over five million tonnes of wheat have proven negative, said the US Wheat Associates.
Alan Tracy, US Wheat's president, reiterated assurances from the USDA that the Oregon case is an isolated event and no biotech wheat has made its way into commercial supplies.
In the meantime, US Wheat Associates will also meet representatives from Japan, Taiwan and South Korea in the later part of this month, Tracy added.
According to US export sales data, Japan bought about 3 million tonnes of US wheat in the 2013/2014 marketing year, which ended May 31, making it the fourth-largest buyer of US wheat for that period after Brazil, China and Mexico.
In the current marketing year, Japan has bought 1.4 million tonnes.
South Korea bought 1.3 million tonnes during the last marketing year, making it the seventh largest buyer. It has bought 749,000 tonnes so far this year.