CHICAGO Feb 27 U.S. farmers should closely
consider the markets they serve when choosing to plant a new
genetically modified Syngenta AG corn variety as it is
not approved by all major importers, including China, the U.S.
Grains Council said on Thursday.
Grain exporters also need to be keenly aware of the
varieties they handle to prevent further disruptions to
international trade, said USGC, which helps develop foreign
markets for grain.
Syngenta's Agrisure Duracade corn is available for planting
in the United States for the first time this year but China and
the European Union have not yet approved it for import, raising
concerns about potential trade disruptions.
China rejected at least 600,000 tonnes of U.S. corn this
season because the shipments contained a Syngenta GMO strain
known as Agrisure Viptera, which Beijing has also not approved
"It is important for all sectors of the value chain -
individual farmers, technology providers, shippers and exporters
alike - to recognize the potentially significant international
implications of their actions," said USGC president and CEO Tom
"The Council therefore urges producers who choose to plant
Agrisure Duracade in 2014 to adhere carefully to their
stewardship responsibilities in order to minimize the risk to
U.S. export sales."
Large grain companies, including Archer Daniels Midland
, Bunge, Cargill and Consolidated Grain
and Barge, have said they will not accept Duracade corn until it
is approved by all major importers.
Gavilon Grain inked a deal with Syngenta to provide
grain marketing opportunities for farmers planting Duracade, but
offered few details about how it will handle it.
Unless it is carefully segregated from other varieties,
Duracade could easily mix into the high-volume U.S. supply
chain. That raises the risk for trade disruptions because some
countries have zero-tolerance policies on GMOs that they have
USGC called on importers to relax zero-tolerance policies
and work toward a speedier, more coordinated approval system for
the latest GMO traits.
"Our charge is to protect the export market and we take that
very seriously. But we also feel strongly about having access to
that technology and not holding up access to that technology
where we don't have functioning approval systems," Sleight said.