Japan to resume sales of U.S. wheat

Kyodo

Japan will resume sales of wheat imported from the United States from Thursday, ending a two-month suspension following the discovery of an unapproved genetically modified crop at an Oregon farm.

All wheat imported from the United States will be tested against a genetically modified strain before the government puts it up for bidding by dealers, farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said.

Bidding for western white wheat will start Thursday and for soft white wheat used as cattle feed on Aug. 7, he said.

“It is important that we maintain such a (testing) system so we can respond when we discover something that shouldn’t be there,” Hayashi said at a press conference.

The farm ministry has not found any genetically modified grain among shipments of Oregon western white wheat that entered the country before imports were suspended on May 30.

Of the roughly 5 million tons of wheat that Japan imports every year, about 3 million tons come from the U.S., of which some 800,000 tons is western white wheat, according to the ministry.