Japan resumes imports of western white wheat

by Jay Sjerven
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WASHINGTON — The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (M.A.F.F.) on Aug. 1 announced it had purchased 89,579 tonnes of U.S. western white wheat as part of its routine weekly wheat tender. It was Japan’s first purchase of western white wheat since May, when M.A.F.F. suspended imports of the wheat following the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that it had discovered unapproved volunteer wheat plants bioengineered to be glyphosate tolerant growing in a single field in Oregon.

Taiwan flour millers also purchased western white wheat from the U.S. Pacific Northwest last week.

In a joint statement, U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers said they were pleased that Japan’s agriculture ministry resumed tenders for new purchases of U.S. western white wheat.

“The announcement from Japan comes as a result of a thorough, science-based review by M.A.F.F. of the ongoing APHIS investigation, as well as a sustained effort by the wheat industry, the U.S.D.A. and many others to provide the information M.A.F.F. needed to buy U.S. western white and soft white wheat again,” the wheat groups said. “APHIS and M.A.F.F. have now tested hundreds of samples of U.S. wheat and found no evidence of any genetically modified material in commercial supplies, which reaffirms the U.S.D.A. conclusion that this was a limited, isolated incident.”

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