Japan and South Korea suspended US Wheat Imports

Jun 1, 2013 18:04 IST

Japan and South Korea in the last week of May 2013 have suspended some imports of US Wheat as rogue wheat was discovered by the regulators that were genetically engineered to resist Monsanto herbicide in an Oregon field.

It was insisted by the US regulators that the wheat carries no risks but the outcome of the investigation could have a huge impact on world markets, with the US the biggest global exporter of wheat.

It is evident that Genetically Engineered wheat is not approved for commercial sale anywhere in the world.  But some herbicide-resistant plants were found in April 2013 on an Oregon farm, which had actuated government investigation.

The altered wheat is glyphosate resistant, which means it contains a transgene that allows it to survive when a popular weed killer made by Monsanto, called Roundup, is sprayed on fields.

The GE wheat was tested at more than 100 sites in the United States from 1998 to 2005, but the last approved field trials in Oregon were in 2001, according to the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

It is important here to note that the genetically altered corn and soybeans are grown regularly in United States but mostly consumed by animals. No genetically altered wheat has been approved in the U.S. for commercial production.

The effect of genetically altered crops is that can increase their resistance to droughts and pests, but as per the critics it can introduce toxins or reduce their nutrients.

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