Japan and South Korea Suspend Western Wheat Imports Over GMOs
Japan and South Korea have temporarily halted Western white wheat imports over concerns of GMO contamination after the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made it known that it is investigating the source of 22 genetically engineered wheat plants found in a field Washington State.
Japan’s suspension of new purchases, and possible suspension of domestic distribution of wheat already in-country, will remain in place until its Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) is able to begin using a new detection assay test provided by the USDA and Monsanto. The suspension is expected to be in place for approximately three weeks before the required testing has begun.
South Korea has also halted purchases of U.S. wheat and is keeping U.S. wheat from its mills until testing to detect GMOs can be started, however the country’s believes that testing will begin as early as the first week of August.
The last time GM wheat was detected in a U.S. field was in 2013, at which time a Japanese suspension of U.S. wheat lasted two months.