USDA update on GE wheat reaffirms an isolated finding

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 14, 2013- USDA issued an update today on its investigation into the discovery of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon, reaffirming that no other GE wheat has been discovered.

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“As of today, USDA has not found nor been informed of anything that would indicate that this incident amounts to more than a single isolated incident in a single field on a single farm,” according to the update. “All information collected so far shows no indication of the presence of GE wheat in commerce.” 

In addition, the update noted USDA recently validated an event-specific method for detecting the Monsanto trait exhibited in the GE wheat found in Oregon.

Monsanto provided the trait, MON71800, to USDA on May 23, 2013. USDA's update noted the validation process included a specificity study and a sensitivity study. 

“USDA determined that the method can reliably detect MON71800 when it is present at a frequency of 1 in 200 kernels,” according to the update. “Additionally, USDA has provided this validated DNA test method to detect this specific GE variety to our trading partners that have requested it.”

Japan, Korea and Taiwan postponed imports of U.S. white wheat after the Oregon discovery. USDA's notice said officials “will continue to provide information as quickly as possible as the investigation continues - with a top priority on giving our trading partners the tools they need to ensure science-based trade decisions.”

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