Japan looks to calm domestic concerns over wheat supply after US GMO find

TOKYO, June 5 Wed Jun 5, 2013 6:13am EDT

TOKYO, June 5 (Reuters) - Japan's farm minister has tried to calm concerns about possible shortfalls in the country's main source of flour for cake and other sweets after genetically modified wheat was discovered in the United States, saying the country has two months' inventory of the grade.

In the comments made on Tuesday, minister Yoshimawa Hayashi added that Japan could consider importing alternative types of wheat if U.S. investigations into the discovery of unapproved GM wheat growing wild in a field in Oregon dragged on.

Japan shunned U.S. shipments of the Western White grade of wheat at a tender last week and is not expected to restart imports until the conclusion of the U.S. investigation into the rogue strain of wheat, modified by Monsanto Co for herbicide tolerance but never put into commercial production.

"We're looking to the development of an investigation by U.S. authorities," Hayashi said. "But if the period of the halt is prolonged, we may have to consider the possibility of an earlier supply than usual of this year's locally grown wheat and the possibility of importing alternative types from abroad."

Millers have said, however, that it could be difficult to find an alternative foreign wheat to replace Western White as it is the sole low-protein type suitable for cake flour that the ministry currently buys. The world's sixth-biggest wheat buyer imports around 800,000 tonnes of the grade each year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the find last week after tests to identify the wheat strain and says there is no evidence that any GM crops have entered the supply chain.

South Korea said on Wednesday it has not detected any genetically modified wheat in tests so far on imports of the grain and flour from the state of Oregon, but that tests are ongoing.

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Comments (4)
Hydrazoic wrote:
Why are people making such a big deal about this? There is more panic over the possibility of GMO wheat than about Mad Cow disease. I can understand why genetic modification might be scary to some people, but the fact is that GMO crops will not harm you.

Jun 05, 2013 12:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Herman131313 wrote:
The rest of the world has woken up to the potential ill effects of GMO’s to the environment and out bodies. When will the US wake up and ban GMO’s or at very minimum, mandate GMO labeling of all our food products like Europe does. American Corporate greed is what this is all about.

Jun 05, 2013 2:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
umojaresearch wrote:
Sorry Hydrazoic but scientists and health researchers have found that GMO crops will harm you.

This battle has been going on for over a decade, but as the dangers have gone from Labs to plants, animals, soil and man, people are demanding Natural Organic Foods in opposition to the Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMO Foods in stores.

Many GMO Foods are already banned in Europe and farmers in Canada and other foreign countries are staging battles against Monsanto and other producers of GMO Foods. Science has already proven GMO products have caused sterility in animals and in some cases where the results have been a Cancer causing “Dioxin”, which in Germany and Europe in January 2011 and May 2012, farmers lost billions of dollars in sales of pigs, chickens and eggs, due to Dioxin contamination. Some scientists say the Dioxin is from the GMO Plants while other scientists say it’s the chemicals sprayed on the plants. Even the Honey Bee Die Off or Colony Collapse Disorder has been associated with the growing of GMO Plants and the chemicals sprayed on the GMO plants, which are killing insects, including Honey Bees.

The one question consumers can ask is, “If GMO Foods Are So Safe, Why Is Monsanto, Fast Food Producers and Grocery Stores Afraid For Them To Be Labeled”? Why would they spend million$ to deny you the right to know what you and your families are eating?

Ref:
1. Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, by Jeffrey M. Smith
2. Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food, Lisa H. Weasel
3. Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Jeffrey M. Smith
4. GMO Free: Exposing the Hazards of Biotechnology to Ensure the Integrity of Our Food Supply, Mae-Wan Ho, Lim Li Ching
5. DVD, Bad Seed: The Truth About Our Food,
6. DVD, Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals, GMFreeSchools.org
7. DVD, The Future of Food, Deborah Koons Garcia

Jun 05, 2013 9:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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