In a statement published today, Dec. 1, 2016, it was announced that, after a thorough examination regarding the genetically engineered (GE) wheat detection in Washington State, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has closed its fact finding. The Agency also said it found no evidence of GE wheat in commerce.
NAWG and the U.S. Wheat Associates expressed their appreciation to APHIS for its work in this isolated incident. Effective communications between government officials, including APHIS and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, farmer organizations, the grain trade and customers kept the process moving in a positive way. "We also thank our overseas customers for their rational response to this situation and their continued confidence in the quality and value of U.S. wheat," NAWG said.
On July 29, 2016, USDA confirmed the discovery by a farmer of GE wheat plants growing in an unplanted agricultural field in Washington State. After thoroughly examining the farmer’s property, APHIS detected a total of 22 wheat plants that were volunteering in an unplanted field. The GE wheat in question is resistant to glyphosate.
Working with the farmer, APHIS took measures to ensure that no GE wheat moved into commerce. Although the volunteers were not in a planted field, out of an abundance of caution, APHIS tested the farmer’s full wheat harvest for the presence of any GE wheat material. All samples were found to be negative for any GE wheat material.