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Published July 11, 2013, 10:26 AM

South Korea to resume buying Northwest wheat

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.

By: Associated Press,

PORTLAND, Ore. — 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 western white wheat from the Pacific Northwest 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 limit purchases of Oregon-grown wheat, Wheat Commission Chief Executive Blake Rowe said.

Taiwan resumed purchases earlier.

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. Department of Agriculture 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.

USDA 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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