In a statement published Dec. 1, 2016, it was announced that, after a thorough examination regarding the genetically engineered (GE) wheat detection in Washington state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (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 U.S. Wheat Associates express our 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.
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 the herbicide glyphosate, commonly referred to as Roundup®.
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.
The statement added that 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.
For additional information, visit:
August 5, 2016 Statement on Detection of GE Wheat Volunteer Plants in Washington State;
July 29, 2016 Statement on Detection of GE Wheat Volunteer Plants in Washington State.