Japan Suspends Some Imports of U.S. Wheat

Japan Suspends Some Imports of U.S. Wheat

Published: May 31, 2013

WASHINGTON — Japan has suspended some imports of wheat from the United States after genetically engineered wheat was found on an Oregon farm.

The Agriculture Department announced the discovery on Wednesday. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for American farming.

Japan is one of the largest export markets for American wheat growers. Katsuhiro Saka, a counselor at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, said Thursday that Japan had canceled orders of western white wheat from the Pacific Northwest and also of some feed-grade wheat.

“In most countries the unapproved genetically modified wheat would be a target of concern,” Mr. Saka said. “The Japanese people have similar kinds of concerns.”

In addition, the European Union said it would test incoming American shipments and block any containing genetically modified wheat.

The mystery could have implications on wheat trade. Many countries around the world will not accept imports of genetically modified foods, and the United States exports about half of its wheat crop.