BEIJING Jan 8 Switzerland-based Syngenta AG
is waiting for China to approve a strain of
gene-modified corn present in several U.S. cargoes turned away
from Chinese ports in recent months, the company said.
Since November, China has rejected about 600,000 tonnes of
corn from United States, the world's largest exporter, after
detecting traces of MIR 162, also known as Agrisure Viptera,
which is still awaiting approval from China's farm
Syngenta has responded to all requests from the Chinese
government for information, but has not yet been informed on the
progress of its application, the company said in a statement.
"As far as the status of the approval, we are doing
everything we can to find out what, if any, questions the
Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has about our dossier for the
Agrisure Viptera trait," Syngenta said in the statement, emailed
"We have been proactively offering additional information,
but we have not had any formal, official feedback from the
ministry to know what is holding up the approval."
China's agriculture ministry said in December the strain was
still being evaluated after the company provided further
information in November.
"We have been waiting nearly four years for this review to
be completed (since March 2010) and we continue to work with a
variety of government and industry stakeholders to expedite
import approval," Syngenta added.
Chinese regulations require the agriculture ministry to make
a decision within 270 days of the application.
"Throughout the review, we have provided information the
ministry has requested in a timely manner, and there are no
outstanding questions for Syngenta," the company said.
Industry sources said Beijing's scrutiny of GMO corn is
prompted by a glut in domestic supply as it seeks to curb cheap
imports and support domestic prices of the grain to help
(Reporting by Niu Shuping and David Stanway; Editing by