Dow AgroSciences limits sales of GMO soy, corn on China worries

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Dow AgroSciences said on Wednesday it will restrict sales of its new genetically modified corn and soybeans to prevent them from entering U.S. domestic or international marketing channels as it awaits import approval from China.

The move by the agricultural unit of Dow Chemical Co is aimed at avoiding the type of market turmoil that hit Sygenta AG and the U.S. grain industry when that company commercialized its own GMO corn without waiting for import approval from China.

Dow’s new corn and soybean seeds, dubbed Enlist, are genetically altered to withstand a new herbicide called Enlist Duo developed by Dow.

Dow AgroSciences said it will go ahead and sell its Enlist Duo herbicide in 2015, but has decided to sell the new corn only under strict conditions that include requirements the harvested corn be fed to livestock on the farm and not sold. The new Enlist soybeans will only be offered as part of a non-commercial program that lets a small number of farmers try out the seeds.

China has rejected more than 1 million tonnes of U.S. corn over the last year because it contained traces of Syngenta corn called Agrisure Viptera, and several U.S. grain industry players have sued the company over the lost sales.

Earlier this year, the National Grain & Feed Association estimated that U.S. farmers had lost more than $1 billion because of trade disruptions linked to the rejections.

Dow AgroSciences has been awaiting Chinese import approval for roughly two years, and is not certain when it might be granted. (Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City. Editing by Andre Grenon)