leaders say a new biotech product that helps corn fight off pests could end up
in exported animal feed and risk the industry's relationship with foreign
The Renewable Fuels Association, a leading industry group, expressed its
concerns over the product Agrisure RW corn rootworm trait developed by Syngenta
Seeds Inc. in a letter sent to Syngenta's seed executives. The letter said the
trait has not been approved for export markets but is being sold to growers inIllinois, Iowa, Nebraska and
association said the trait could end up in exported distillers grains, a
byproduct of ethanol production that is fed to livestock.
"There is a risk
that the shipment would be rejected by the importing customer, permanently
damaging the U.S. ethanol industry's relationships
with these important markets," association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. He
asked Syngenta executives to "ensure this product stays out of unapproved market
channels" by educating customers of marketing issues and removing dry mill
ethanol facilities from its lists of points of sale for grain containing the
Jeff Gox, Syngenta's global head of corn and
soybeans, said without products like Agrisure RW, farmers won't be able to keep
up with the ethanol industry's demand.
technologies that improve crop yield and quality will be the critical enablers
in growers' efforts to meet the escalating demand brought on by the skyrocketing
ethanol industry and still meet the needs of the livestock and export industry"
Lack of approval
Last year, 12
million metric tons of distillers grains were produced in the United States, with exports making up more than 10% of
sales. Most of the product originated in Nebraska, Illinois and
nation's top ethanol producers. Last month, the Iowa Corn Growers Association
noted that Agrisure RW lacks approval in major export markets including
Japan and Mexico.
"We owe it to
our growers to provide information when this could limit their ability to market
their corn after harvest this fall," Bob Bowman, a corn grower from DeWitt and
member of the National Corn Growers trade policy working group,
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