Bioengineered wheat again to the fore as hot button topic

by Dan Malovany
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How would the international community react if the United States began planting bioengineered wheat? That question was answered when U.S.D.A. announced the discovery of bioengineered glyphosate-resistant wheat in Oregon on May 30.

First, not surprisingly, Japan suspended imports of U.S. western wheat and said it would only resume purchases after U.S. authorities established testing methods to identify “unapproved crops.” Second, again not surprisingly, the European Union said it plans to test incoming shipments of U.S. wheat and block them if they contained any bioengineered wheat.

Other key trading countries such as Mexico, South Korea and China were reported to be monitoring the situation. But there is perhaps a bigger yet-unanswered question that is central to the bioengineered wheat debate. How will consumers react to the news?

That answer is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: The issue of bioengineered wheat will be a hot topic of conversation at Sosland’s Purchasing Seminar, which was earlier this week in Kansas City.

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