Just two days following the news that genetically modified wheat was found growing in the state of Oregon, officials from the U.S. said they were not any closer to knowing it origin, while Japan was joined by South Koreas in suspending some wheat purchases from the U.S.
A top U.S. official with the Agriculture Department said on Friday that their investigators were investigating different avenues to find out how the wheat, which has a gene making it herbicide resistant, popped up in Oregon in April.
Although some genetically modified crops like cotton and soybeans have been embraced in the U.S. wheat had never received approval here or anywhere else across the globe.
The wheat was found in a field in northeast Oregon in April and was developed by Monsanto Co. the biotech giant over a decade ago however it was never put into production commercially.
Millers in South Koreas suspended U.S. wheat imports Friday and Japan shunned the importing of the wheat from the Pacific northwest in its weekly tender Thursday. Testing will be stepped up said a representative from the European Union.
Inspections were increased by other Asian countries, but imported bans were not imposed.
All those involved from the farmers to the exporters will watch the results that are expected Monday, of tests performed in South Korea on flour and wheat supplies in the U.S. to determine if any have signs of the strain.
Regardless of what happens with the tests’ outcomes, the appearance of the mysterious wheat has fanned new talks over the GMO crops.
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