Wheat research is vital to wheat growers in the U.S. in order to improve productivity, reverse the declining acre trend and and help the U.S. wheat grower feed a growing global population in a sustainable way. Biotechnology is one of the plant science tools available for wheat researchers that provides the promise of productivity increases.

NAWG, along with U.S. Wheat Associates, supports the effort to add biotechnology to the tools used by breeders to improve wheat varieties. We are supportive of the technology because our grower-leadership understands the increasing number of challenges facing wheat producers that cannot be solved by traditional breeding techniques. And, we are committed to working with players throughout the wheat chain, as well as our domestic and international customers, to demonstrate support for the technology and ensure key milestones are met before any trait is introduced into the market.

Biotech Labeling

On July 29, 2016, President Trump signed into law the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (Public Law No. 114-216) which, in part, directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a national standard to disclose certain food products or ingredients that are “bioengineered.” As a result, the regulations USDA issues will establish requirements for labeling of human food products derived from biotechnology. NAWG supports this bill and continues to monitor the implementation process. Full implementation is to be completed by July 29, 2018 or two years after signed into law.

However, the USDA didn’t publish its final rule until December 21, 2018. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on February 19, 2019 with implementation by January 1, 2020, voluntary compliance by December 31, 2021, and mandatory compliance by January 1, 2022.

Trilateral Statement of Supportgrower-groups

In June 2014, 16 grower groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia – three of the world’s largest producers and exporters of wheat – released a joint statement reconfirming their commitment to working toward synchronized commercialization of biotech traits in their wheat crops. Read the full statement here [Link to PDF Trilateral-Statement-June-2014.pdf].