South Korea to resume U.S. white wheat imports
KANSAS CITY — South Korea indicated it was set to resume imports of U.S. white wheat from the Pacific Northwest after tests revealed no bioengineered supply in shipments from the United States. Trade reports also indicated Japan may resume imports of white wheat from the region as early as August.
Although there was no specific tender for white wheat, the announced resumption of imports was encouraging, U.S. Wheat Associates said in a report in the Capital Press, an Oregon agricultural publication.
South Korea’s food ministry had broadened its testing to include foods from wheat flour as well as wheat cargoes but have not found any bioengineered wheat in more than 160 inspections, according to the trade. Testing would be ongoing, the trade said.
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on June 2 approved a plan to resume imports of soft white winter wheat from the U.S. Pacific Northwest, after discovery of unapproved bioengineered wheat plants in an Oregon field in May brought shipments to a halt, but no specific timetable was offered.
Conditions of Japan’s plan called for continued investigation into the incident by the United States and sharing of additional information, according to the Capital Press.
Other conditions included the establishment of a testing method for the presence of bioengineered wheat and a meeting between MAFF and “relevant experts” in the area where the plants were discovered.