22 November 2013, 17:54

China rejects shipment of GMO 'contaminated' corn from US

China rejects shipment of GMO 'contaminated' corn from US

China rejected a cargo of U.S. corn because it contained a genetically modified variety that is not approved for import. The GMO product is labeled as Syngenta AG's AgrisureViptera corn, which is also known as MIR 162.

This follows a rejection by China of a load of alfalfa that was also GMO contaminated in Sept. 2013. Farmers in the state of Washington requested that the USDA require compensation for the Monsanto Roundup Ready cross-contamination that resulted in the rejection by China. The USDA ruled that this was a marketing issue, and not something to be addressed by the USDA.

Traders in China said the cargo of between 55,000 and 60,000 tonnes has already been unloaded at the port of Shekou in the southern province of Guangdong. The buyer was a state-owned trading house and the shipment may have to be re-loaded for transport to Japan or South Korea, they said.

The local quarantine authority rejected the shipment after finding the unapproved GMO strain in samples, traders said. Shenzhen's quarantine bureau, which refused a US corn cargo in 2010 after finding traces of unapproved GMO, declined to make immediate comment.

After shifting from a corn exporter to a net importer in 2010, China has become on of the world's top three corn markets, buying nearly all of its imports from top exporter the United States.

US corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade extended earlier losses following confirmation of the rejected cargo.

While the influence of Monsanto is extremely effective in Congress and the Supreme Court, there are many wealthy farmers in the West and Midwest that are seeing their export business dwindle because of GMO crop contamination. In this case, the reduced revenue for exports by US farmers may talk louder than the lobbyists for Monsanto, Dow, BASF and DuPont.

Voice of Russia, examiner.com, agprofessional.com, Reuters

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