South Korea to buy NW wheat again

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PORTLAND (AP) — 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, South 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.

South Korea will test 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. Agriculture Department is investigating the discovery of the wheat, not approved for farming in the United States. The department said it appears to be an isolated incident.

Agriculture officials have said the wheat is the same strain as wheat designed to be herbicide-resistant and legally tested by Monsanto a decade ago, but never approved.

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