E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


U.S. Wheat Associates report: Japan doesn't want transgenic wheat

(April 25, 2001 --Cropchoice news) -- Five representatives of the U.S. wheat industry traveled to Japan last week to meet with government leaders and flour millers about transgenic wheat, which Monsanto plans to introduce sometime between 2003 and 2005. They heard more of what the Japanese have long said -- consumers do not want it.

"The Japanese industry leaders have indicated that they will purchase non-GM wheat from U.S. competitors if the U.S. cannot ensure that Japan will receive 'GM-free' wheat," according to a U.S. Wheat Associates report on the trip. "The Food Agency, which is the sole government wheat buyer, emphasized that even if GMO food safety is certified by Japanese health officials, the FA could not purchase biotechnology-derived wheat due to consumer concerns. Further, they stated the wheat millers won't use biotechnology-derived wheat even if it is approved." If transgenic were to end up in the Japanese market, millers fear they'd lose business if consumers switched to rice.

The report went on to say that industry leaders could see the benefit of transgenic food that, say, increases calcium intake, lowers cholesterol, or raises gluten and lysine content. But, they stressed, at this point consumers are opposed.

The Japanese believe that a system to segregate, trace and label transgenic wheat would be both ineffective and expensive. They did agree to work with the U.S. industry on reviewing plans for such a system.

Source: U.S. Wheat Associates report