July 10, 2013 at 7:49 PM
South Korea to resume buying Northwest wheat
PORTLAND — An Oregon Wheat Commission spokesman says South Korean flour mills will resume buying soft white wheat from the Pacific Northwest and will not restrict purchases of wheat grown in Oregon.
Japan, Korea and Taiwan suspended imports of Pacific Northwest western white wheat after genetically modified wheat was discovered growing in an Eastern Oregon field in May.
Korea will continue testing wheat shipments for the presence of transgenic material, but will not restrict purchases of wheat grown in Oregon, Wheat Commission Chief Executive Blake Rowe said.
Taiwan resumed purchases earlier, The Oregonian reported.
Korea and Japan use wheat from Oregon, Washington and Idaho to make noodles, sponge cakes and crackers. They are opposed to importing genetically modified food.
The U.S. Agriculture Department is investigating the discovery of the wheat, which is not approved for farming in the United States. The department has said it appears to be an isolated incident.
Agriculture Department officials have said the wheat is the same strain as a genetically modified wheat that was designed to be herbicide-resistant and was legally tested by seed giant Monsanto a decade ago but never approved.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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