ARLINGTON, Va., June 5, 2014 —Organizations representing wheat producers and millers in Australia, Canada and the United States confirmed their support for the future commercialization of biotechnology for the crop today. The renewed pledge involves eight new organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union.
The Wheat Industry Biotechnology Position Statement, first adopted in February 2006, lays out shared commitments for the responsible advancement of biotech traits and other breeding advancements in wheat.
The Canadian National Millers Association and Cereals Canada and Grain Farmers of Ontario joined the statement, as well as several state organizations from Australia, including AgForce Queensland, Grain Producers SA (South Australia) and Victorian Farmers Federation Grains Group.
Alberta Wheat, which signed in 2009, is now represented by Cereals Canada.
The signatories call for further innovation in research as wheat represents about 20 percent of human calorie intake, making it an essential part of the global diet and critical to food security.
As demand increases, they state, wheat supplies must remain abundant while meeting the highest quality and nutrition standards. Advanced breeding and biotechnology will help protect the continued availability of wheat foods and “ultimately offers the promise of improved products, more sustainable production and environmental benefits,” according to the statement.
The groups also encourage the governments of wheat producing and importing countries to maintain science-based regulatory systems as well as to adopt reasonable low level presence policies to minimize trade disruptions. For the same reason, the groups stated they will work toward the goal of synchronized commercialization of biotech traits in wheat in the three countries.
“We stand ready to assist all industry segments to assure supplies of non-biotech wheat within reasonable commercial tolerances to markets that require it,” the groups reiterated.
U.S. organizations signing onto the statement include:
- American Farm Bureau Federation
- National Association of Wheat Growers
- National Farmers Union
- North American Millers’ Association
- U.S. Wheat Associates
- Canadian National Millers Association
- Cereals Canada
- Grain Farmers of Ontario
- Grain Growers of Canada
- Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association
- AgForce Queensland
- Grain Growers Limited
- Grain Producers Australia
- Grain Producers SA
- Pastoral and Graziers Association of Western Australia
- Victorian Farmers Federations Grains Group
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