The European Commission formally authorised the genetically modified (GM) maize MIR162 Agrisure Vipterra marketed by the Swiss company Syngenta for use in food and feed, as well as for import and processing in the European Union.
The EU executive’s decision entered into force after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU, on 20 October. It has put an end to the authorisation procedure, which was initialled in July 2010 when Syngenta submitted its application to the German authorities.
The US Grains Council is pleased with the approval. “This will open the way for exports of US corn co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF),” it said in a press release.
“This approval is a great success as it opens the window of opportunity for US products, including DDGS and CGF, to enter the EU market. This is especially attractive in big markets like Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands,” said Cary Sifferath, USGC senior regional director based in Tunis.
“Their ability to import these high-protein feed ingredients is critical at a time of crop shortage in Europe and high prices. Everyone is looking for alternatives.”
Sifferath noted, however, the opportunity may only exist for a limited amount of time as new crop biotech events coming down the pipeline are not yet approved in Europe.
Such products may be planted by US farmers in the spring, meaning they may enter the market in autumn of 2013. This could again stall sales of US co-products into the EU provided the approval process remains sluggish within the trade bloc.
"Corn co-products are a tremendous feed ingredient recognized as a good value by buyers within Europe and around the world," Sifferath said.
"Approvals such as this help livestock and poultry producers manage costs and expand options, and we are hopeful the availability of these options continue well into the future."