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Wheat Industry Gathers for Summit

Participants called the meeting a success and formed some majority opinions.

Representatives from throughout the wheat industry met Thursday for the second Wheat Summit to discuss issues relating to everyone from farmers to millers to biofuel producers. The summit's participants worked out some majority opinions which will be released in the near future.

Participants at a press conference afterwards estimated that the summit drew around 70 people from across the industry, part of an attempt to bring together "the whole world of people that are involved in the wheat business," says John Miller, vice chair of the North American Millers' Association.

NAMA and the National Association of Wheat Growers hosted the summit, and representatives from both groups called the event a success.

Each of the summit's four working groups will release a report. Those groups are domestic competitiveness; domestic farm policy; exports, transportation and infrastructure; and research and technology.

One issue discussed at the meeting was the recent freeze, which appears to have caused some rather severe damage in places.

In a Wednesday press release, NAWG stressed that although wheat gluten imported from China was the cause of a recent pet food recall, the U.S. wheat supply is safe. Although close to half of U.S. wheat is exported, almost 80% of wheat gluten used in the U.S. is imported, mainly from the EU, Australia and China.

The top U.S. wheat gluten producer was represented at the summit, but participants in the press conference say the issue was not discussed because of strong safety measures in place in U.S. gluten production.

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