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Glyphosate Resistant Wheat Found in Washington State

Genetically Engineered Wheat Likely Comes from Past Testing 

Wheat plants resistant to glyphosate herbicide have been discovered in Washington State, for the third time since the development of glyphosate resistant wheat was scrapped in 2013. This is the second occurrence in Washington State. 

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to issue the following statement: 

“USDA is collaborating with our state, industry and trading partners, and we are committed to providing all our partners with timely and transparent information about our findings.

“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. 

“After previous detections of GE wheat, USDA strengthened its oversight of regulated GE wheat field trials. APHIS now requires developers to apply for a permit for field trials involving GE wheat beginning with GE wheat planted on or after January 1, 2016. Bringing GE wheat under permit enables APHIS to create and enforce permit conditions that ensure confinement and minimize the risk that the regulated GE wheat will persist in the environment.

“This detection is a result of events occurring before USDA strengthened its oversight of regulated GE wheat trials.

The U.S. Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers issued a joint statement Friday in response to the discovery. 

“We appreciate that USDA is collaborating with our organizations and our state, industry and trading partners to provide timely and transparent information about their findings as they investigate this discovery. We understand samples of the wheat plants from the field in Washington were sent to the USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service lab in Kansas City, MO, as well as USDA Agricultural Research lab in Pullman, WA, for testing and confirmation. 

“We cannot speculate or comment 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. Based on what we know today from APHIS, we are confident that nothing has changed the U.S. wheat supply chain’s ability to deliver wheat that matches every customer’s specifications.”

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