GM wheat here and abroad
July 1, 2011
by Laurie Gorton
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About 30% of the world wheat market will want non-GM wheat, according to William Wilson, PhD, university distinguished professor, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, referring to spring-planted hard wheat. “That 30% includes Japan, Europe and a few other countries around the world, plus organic food manufacturers, which represent about 3% of the market,” he explained.
Because half of the US wheat crop is exported, the wheat improvement community needs direction on export markets, said Roger Salameh, vice-president of business development, Arcadia Biosciences, Davis, CA.
Segregation of crops will be necessary. “This will present a big hurdle for international trade should biotech wheat be introduced in the US,” said Lee Sanders, senior vice-president, government relations and public affairs, American Bakers Association. “You have to iron out such trade issues in advance, or else your hands will be tied.”
That segregation will extend to US supply chains, too. “If [bakers] want the new varieties, it will involve identity preservation and separate distribution chains,” Ms. Sanders added.