Japanese officials to visit after suspending shipments of Canadian wheat


Update, June 18: South Korea’s government has also suspended the sale of wheat and flour from Canada.

Japan’s agriculture ministry has suspended shipments of Canadian wheat after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed on Thursday that genetically modified wheat plants were found growing in southern Alberta last summer.

The CFIA says none of the wheat from the isolated case entered the grain handling or seed production system.

Cereals Canada and other Canadian grain industry stakeholders were briefed on the situation shortly before the CFIA informed media of the discovery on Thursday afternoon, and have since been reaching out to customers to reassure them that no wheat with unapproved traits entered the commercial system.

The CFIA said it is willing to share a validated test for the GM trait that was found in these wheat plants with trading partners, should they request it.

Japanese officials will be visiting Canada to gather information next week, according to Cereals Canada.

The national cereal crop industry organization has also been in contact with customers in South Korea, China and the EU, but has not received any indication that access in these markets will be impacted.

Japan and South Korea temporarily halted some imports of U.S. wheat after GM wheat incidents in the U.S. in 2013 and 2016.

No GM wheat has been approved for commercialization anywhere in the world.

More to come.

Related: Unapproved GM wheat plants discovered in Alberta

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