Two US grain industry groups, whose members include the
likes of Bunge and Cargill, called on Syngenta to mothball two genetically modified
corn seed varieties, for fear of "serious economic harm" stemming
from further trade hiccups with China.
The National Grain and Feed Association and North American
Export Grain Association said they had sent a joint letter to Syngenta asking
the company "to immediately halt commercialisation" in the US of its
Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade corn seed.
The request follows the rejection by Chinese authorities,
which have yet to give either variety the all clear, of more than 600,000
tonnes in imports of US corn containing Viptera, on grounds that it is as yet
Duracade is planned for launch in the US this year.
For Syngenta to continue offering the
varieties would - until they do win Chinese approval - threaten
"numerous negative consequences", including cutting demand for US
crops, shutting off US producers' access to some export markets, and exposing
merchants to financial losses because of cargo rejections, the associations
The Washington DC-based groups said that they were
"gravely concerned about the serious economic harm to exporters, grain
handlers and, ultimately, agricultural producers… that has resulted from
Syngenta's current approach to stewardship of Viptera".
"Further, the same concerns now transcend to Syngenta's
intended product launch plans for Duracade, which risk repeating and extending
"Immediate action is required by Syngenta to halt such
Agrimoney.com is awaiting a comment from Syngenta on the
The National Grain and Feed Association claims to represent
more than 1,000 companies, which handle more than 70% of US grains and
Members of the North American Export Grain Association
include agribusiness giants such as Archer Daniels Midland, Glencore and Louis
The National Corn Growers Association farmers' group on
Wednesday advised members to "examine the traits approved in export markets
prior to planting", but did not mention any unapproved varieties by name.
"With current gaps in trait approvals abroad, farmers should
make well-informed planting decisions to avoid potentially difficult situations
should elevators again decide not to accept corn with these traits at harvest,"
the association said.
Some elevators have declined to accept Viptera corn, because
of the China trade hiccups.