London Trip Report

The trip report for June 11-18 meetings and events in London is now available. NAEGA personnel Gary Martin, President and CEO; Paul Green, NAEGA Industry Volunteer; Sam Bonilla, NAEGA Senior Adviser; Marcel Bruins, NAEGA/IGTC Science Adviser; and Katy Lee, Acting Secretariat, IGTC traveled to London, United Kingdom on June 11-18. During this mission NAEGA and IGTC personnel accomplished multiple goals, including:

  • IGTC discussions with the International Seed Federation (ISF) to consider policy and information sharing plans for new plant breeding technologies and plant breeding innovations.
  • IGTC Strategy Session featuring participation by IGTC member associations and corporate stakeholders.
  • IGTC participation in the 43rd Session of the International Grains Council, including presentations by Gary and Marcel.
  • Attendance and presentation at the IGC Grains Conference.
  • Hosting of the IGTC Management Council Meeting.
  • Participation in the Grain and Feed Trade Association’s (GAFTA) International Contracts Policy Committee (ICPC) meeting by Sam Bonilla.

A copy of the trip report can be found here. For more information, please contact Gary or Ryan.

Washington State GE Wheat Plant Findings

We continue to monitor developments related to the detection of a few genetically engineered wheat plants in a field in Washington State. Most recent information includes:

The USDA APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Service (BRS) continues to advise there has been NO detection of the presence of MON 71700, the event detected, or its sister event MON 71800 in the U.S. wheat supply. Here is the link to reports from the Agency: APHIS BRS Washington Wheat Plants.

Currently, Monsanto is distributing tests to several governments including Japan, Korea and Taiwan. At this time Monsanto is not making testing available to end users or expanding the availability of the test beyond these governments despite interest in testing from additional countries.

Japan, which removed Western White Winter Wheat from its August 4 tender, is expected to soon enable testing for MON 71700 and 71800 in the U.S. prior to shipment as well as in Japan upon shipment arrival.

In Taiwan, the government has requested the test method but there is no indication that the government will test shipments. Korean authorities have begun testing but results have not been released.

NAEGA will continue to follow these developments and release information to members as it becomes available. Your comments and advice are also appreciated. Please contact Gary or Ryan with any questions or comments.

USDA Completes Investigation of GE Wheat in MT

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has completed an investigation into the release of a genetically engineered (GE) wheat event in Montana. On July 14, 2014 the USDA was notified that suspected GE wheat had been discovered growing at the Montana State University’s Southern Agricultural Research Center (SARC) where Monsanto researchers grew GE wheat as part of field trials between 2000 and 2003 under APHIS authorization. Upon investigation, APHIS confirmed that the wheat was genetically engineered to resist the herbicide glyphosate. The GE wheat volunteers were contained at the facility and did not enter commerce. Due to the delay in notifying APHIS of the presence of the GE wheat in the field Monsanto and Montana State have been issued warning letters for failing to adhere to required performance standards for field trials.

A copy of APHIS’s Report of Investigation can be found here.

Waves on the Waterfront Newsletter

The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Port and Facility Compliance has released its June edition of the Waves on the Waterfront newsletter focusing on safety, security and stewardship of American ports and export facilities. This edition features an update on personnel changes at Coast Guard, information on compliance with MARPOL Annexes I, II, V and VI and a registration opportunity for a free online training on cybersecurity, among other items.

A copy of the newsletter and more information about each of these topics can be found here.