Ethanol industry leaders say a new trait that helps
corn plants fight off pests could end up in exported animal feed and put the
industry's relationship with foreign markets at risk.
At issue is a new rootworm control trait, Agrisure RW, developed by
Minnesota-based Syngenta Seeds
Inc. In a letter to
Syngenta the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a
leading industry group, expressed its concerns over the product.
said the trait has not been approved for export markets but is being sold to
growers in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. RFA said the trait could end
up in exported distillers grains, the byproduct of ethanol production that's fed
Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen asked Syngenta to
"ensure this product stays out of unapproved market channels" by educating
customers of marketing issues and removing dry mill ethanol facilities -- where
distillers grains are produced -- from its lists of points of sale for grain
containing the trait.
High yield demand
global head of corn and soybeans, Jeff Cox, said without products like Agrisure
RW, farmers won't be able to keep up with the ethanol industry's
"As we have been communicating to growers, only ethanol
facilities that do not export their byproducts should use grain from Agrisure
Rootworm," Syngenta spokeswoman Anne Burt said. "Syngenta welcomes the RFA's
reinforcement of this point with their members."