Update from NAWG on GM wheat situation
By Jim Palmer, CEO of National Association of Wheat Growers
As this situation evolves, NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) have been working closely and effectively together to craft and update position statements and mutual talking points.
NAWG is communicating with the domestic market (which fortunately seems to be mostly unaffected so far, though U.S. grower concerns may be increasing). NAWG has also been meeting with Congressional members and staff.
USW is working closely with our overseas customers to keep the international stakeholders as informed as possible. USW, National Grain and Feed Association and North American Export Grain Association have been meeting and working with the Foreign Ag Service (USDA) to develop plans to help Japan and Korea gain sufficient confidence to resume their U.S. white wheat purchases. USW is also taking the lead in dealing with the European Union and, as needed, its members, to correct the misperceptions about the impact of the RR finding on their imports of U.S. wheat and their possible new testing regime.
In addition, outreach to the North American Millers Association, American Bakers Association, Grain Foods Foundation and Wheat Foods Council is taking place.
Meanwhile USDA and Monsanto are working to develop our next steps on testing that may help ease concerns, and it seems the communication and cooperation between USDA and Monsanto are improving. Monsanto has been very supportive, helpful and informative to everyone. USDA wants to maintain an arm's length while APHIS investigation is ongoing. As for APHIS, there is little more that can done but wait for results from its investigation and then incorporate that new information into our communications.
NAWG and USW appreciate your support during this process, including the resources you have brought to bear to help us develop a successful conclusion for wheat and biotech's future in all of U.S. agriculture.
Feel free to call Melissa or me at 202-547-7800 ext 1, cell: 202-591-5845;
NAWG President Bing Von Bergen at 406-350-5569; or NAWG's other officers.
We will do our best to answer or get an answers for you.