Tokyo, Japan June 4, 2013
Stronger Inspection System Needed for American Wheat
Unapproved genetically modified (GM) wheat has been found in Oregon, U.S. The No! GMO Campaign and Consumers Union of Japan have written to Japan’s Ministry of Health and to the Ministry of Agriculture on June 4, 2013, urging the government to make sure that this GM wheat does not enter Japan. “The GM inspection system at the time of import should be strengthened immediately so that no GM wheat will enter Japan,“ says Amagasa Keisuke, chairperson of the No! GMO Campaign, which was founded in 1996 as the first GM crops were grown in North America, including GM soy and GM corn.
Although Monsanto Co. was testing GM wheat in 16 states from 1998 to 2005, including in Washington, Nevada, and Kansas no permission was ever given for commercial cultivation. USDA says it does not understand the reason why GM wheat has appeared or how much it has spread, or to what extent it is now present in the U.S. It is not impossible that such GM wheat has been exported to Japan. “We ask the Japanese government to urgently investigate if GM wheat is found in Japan,” notes Amagasa Keisuke.
The No! GMO Campaign and Consumers Union note that Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have opted for the import suspension of wheat from Oregon. There is a possibility that the GM wheat in question was mixed with wheat grown in Oregon. This shows the urgent need to further tighten up the GM inspection system conducted at the time of import so that GM wheat may not enter Japan.
Amagasa Keisuke, No! GMO Campaign
Consumers Union of Japan