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Roundup-resistant GE wheat plants found in Washington state

July 09, 2019

Genetically engineered (GE) wheat plants resistant to Roundup glyphosate weed killer have been discovered in an unplanted agricultural field in the US state of Washington, World Grain reported on 10 June.

, Roundup-resistant GE wheat plants found in Washington state

Genetically engineered (GE) wheat plants resistant to Roundup glyphosate weed killer have been discovered in an unplanted agricultural field in the US state of Washington, World Grain reported on 10 June.

According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), there was no evidence that GE wheat had entered the food supply.

“There are no GE wheat varieties for sale or in commercial production in the United States at this time, as APHIS has not deregulated any GE wheat varieties,” the agency added.

World Grain wrote that the USDA had strengthened its oversight of regulated GE wheat field trials after previous detections of unapproved plants in Oregon in 2013, Montana in 2014, Washington state in 2016 and Alberta, Canada in 2018.

Developers were now required to apply for a permit for GE wheat trials, allowing APHIS to ensure confinement and minimise the risk that the GE wheat would persist in the environment.

The USDA was also collaborating with state, industry and trading partners to provide timely and transparent information about any findings.

“We cannot speculate about any potential market reactions until we learn more from APHIS and have a chance to discuss the situation in more detail with overseas customers,” the US Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers said in a joint statement. “Based on what we know today from APHIS, we are confident that nothing has changed the US wheat supply chain’s ability to deliver wheat that matches every customer’s specifications.”


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