Japan Resumes Oregon Grain Purchase after GMO Scare

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(Newswire.net – August 9, 2013) Portland, OR – Japanese officials resumed purchases after a system to detect genetically modified strains before shipment was established. Testing will also include U.S. cargos after arrival to confirm they aren’t tainted.

Food-safety laws in Japan ban sales containing any unapproved GM products. Any contamination found must be disposed of or returned.

Taiwan and South Korea have also resumed purchases. Purchasing had been suspended when they had followed the example of Japan.

This announcement ended months of uncertainty for growers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The discovery in May of Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” genetically modified wheat plants growing in Oregon had threatened to shut down the region’s largest export.

Wheat farmers had enough to worry about with drought, equipment breakdowns and fuel prices to name a few.

Oregon Wheat Commission chief executive Blake Rowe said the turnaround is “very welcome” news to the state’s wheat farmers, currently in the midst of summer harvest. He added, “It’s great news to have our largest, longest and most reliable customer back buying wheat.”

Steve Mercer of U.S. Wheat Associates stated “It’s good news.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded Japan’s decision, saying it “comes at the perfect time for wheat growers and for the state’s economy.”

Asian buyers don’t want genetically engineered food and many in the U.S. are discovering that there may be potential health problems associated with GMO usage.


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Author: Google+ Jan Johansen