No GMO in initial tests of US wheat: South Korea

No GMO in initial tests of US wheat: South Korea

SEOUL - Reuters
South Korea has not detected genetically modified wheat in initial tests of imports of the grain and flour from Oregon, after news last week that a rogue strain of the crop had been discovered in the U.S. state spooked buyers globally.

Korean millers on May 31 suspended imports of U.S. wheat until the final results of government tests on shipments from around the United States, now expected on June 5.

The discovery of the long-forgotten strain prompted Japan to shun wheat from the Pacific Northwest at its weekly tender on Thursday, while some Asian countries ramped up inspections and the European Union said it would step up testing.

“Although our preliminary test result shows no genetically modified wheat was found, we are aiming to test all samples of wheat and flour imported from the U.S.,” said an official at Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drugs.

South Korea - which last year sourced roughly half of its total wheat imports of 5 million tonnes from the U.S. - has also raised quarantine measures on U.S. feed wheat. Genetically modified wheat has never been approved in anywhere in the world.