GMO crops lacking global approval rejected by US traders
Genetically modified crops that lack approval from key global markets have been rejected by US grain handlers. This has shaken the system that has relied on the USA – the global export leader – for decades.
Gary Anderson, the Senior Vice President of CHS Inc. – the largest USA farm cooperative – advised companies to avoid seeds with new biotech traits until they receive approval from key global markets.
“I think that would be the safest thing for the supply chain,” he told Reuters.
Last year, CHS implemented a policy barring it from either buying grain or selling seeds with unapproved traits for export.
Between 2013 and 2014, US corn containing Viptera, a Syngenta AG trait engineered to control pests, was rejected by China because it had not yet approved it. The US farm sector is trying to avoid this situation.
Among companies hardest hit by the Chinese rejection were Archer Daniel’s Midland Co. and Cargill Inc. both of which lost millions of dollars. Both has since sued Syngenta for damages. ADM is not accepting GMO crops that lack global acceptance while Cargill is yet to declare its official position.
The US has been at the forefront of technological advancement of GMO crops to either deal with pests or make them resistant to herbicides. However, it is emerging that only global acceptance of the technology can guarantee success in the industry.
Soren Schroder, the CEO of Bunge, said that it is "very risky" to launch GMO seeds without full approval.
“It’s an uncomfortable position for the industry when there are traits out there that haven’t had major market approval,” he said.
Seed companies, including Monsanto and Dow, have found ways to address market concerns, including contracting farmers to grow GMO crops with restrictions on where to deliver the produce.
Published by Green Jobs Online - 10th May 2016