Posted December 22, 2014
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Chinese officials have approved imports of Syngenta GMO corn trait MIR 162 and two varieties of biotech soybeans, according to a Farm Futures article available here. The Wall Street Journal also published an article available here, Star Tribune here, and Chicago Tribune here.
The country already has rejected more than 1.2 million tons of U.S. corn since the ban was imposed.
This change could resume stronger corn trade with China after they started rejecting U.S. shipments with any traces of Viptera, according to Star Tribune.
The genetically engineered corn seed, MIR 162, protects corn against damage from more than a dozen insect species.
Syngenta has previously stated that several major corn importing countries other than China approved the seed, because it was commercialized “in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements.”
Each country has a regulatory system to “gauge the safety and appropriateness” of each product, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“The key would be for us to have greater alignment between our regulatory systems and their regulatory systems. Not that we would dictate what conclusions they would reach, but that we would better synchronize, or time, what we do. The Chinese have been reluctant to do that,” said Vilsack.
China does not start the process until the U.S. has completed its process, which could delay a product’s availability “by a matter of years,” he said.
Ethanol producers could benefit the most as China’s approval allows for resumed purchases of distillers’ dried grains, a byproduct of ethanol production used for animal feed, according to John Payne, senior market analyst at Daniels Trading. Chinese livestock producers are one of the biggest purchasers of feed, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The bigger win is in the ethanol [industry],” said Mr. Payne.
For more information on biotechnology, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.