U.S. wheat exporters are demonstrating the business value of transparent communications. They are talking directly to their overseas customers, telling their story about the recent discovery of Roundup-resistant wheat in Eastern Oregon.
Wheat ranchers don't want to jeopardize their $8.1 billion per year in exports to nations wary about human consumption of genetically modified foods. According to Bloomberg News, Japan already has suspended wheat imports from the United States pending further findings by U.S. agriculture officials. Other importers may follow suit.
A similar episode occurred in 2006 when unapproved genetically modified rice was detected in the U.S. harvest. The discovery caused prices to plummet and exports to slow and ultimately led to a $750,000 settlement between the developer of the field-test rice and 11,000 American farmers.
Monsanto dropped its field-testing of Roundup-resistant wheat in 2004 after wheat ranchers said it could threaten exports, even though the USDA concluded the wheat was safe for human consumption.