Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers sent a letter to Mr. Kevin Shea, Acting Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Monday, requesting an investigation timeline and a formal meeting to discuss the genetically engineered wheat found in Oregon earlier this month. The following are excerpts from the letter.
"Wheat growers play a significant role in Eastern Washington's economy and I am concerned that Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, key trading partners, have delayed purchases of white wheat. As such, I want to ensure that they do not look for alternative suppliers. We need to assure all of our trading partners that the Northwest will continue to provide a reliable supply of high-quality wheat. Therefore, it is important that APHIS determine how this occurrence happened "
" Moving forward, I request that APHIS provide a timeline for this investigation. Due to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan delaying purchases of white wheat, wheat growers in Eastern Washington are already experiencing a decline in wheat prices. Knowing that the start of harvest is imminent, I am concerned that if harvest begins and APHIS is still unable to determine how this occurrence happened, wheat prices will continue to remain depressed."