Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited, issued the following statement which can be attributed to Soren Schroder, Bunge North America president and CEO.
"Bunge North America is aware from press reports of Syngenta's allegations. From what we know and from prior conversations with Syngenta, we are surprised and disappointed that Syngenta has taken an action which could put at risk a major export market for U.S. corn producers -- China.
"Bunge is a strong proponent of agricultural biotechnology and the benefits it offers to the entire value chain. We have communicated to Syngenta on several occasions that Bunge looks forward to accepting Agrisure Viptera once approval from China is secured. We understand that Syngenta expects this will happen in early 2012.
"However, until this approval occurs, we must protect the integrity of our export supply chain by not accepting Agrisure Viptera and other varieties that do not have major export market approval. Our obligation to our farmer customers is to provide access to the global marketplace and the price benefits of that access. Syngenta's decision to commercialize Agrisure Viptera should not foreclose our ability to sell to a major market -- China.
"Bunge's decision not to accept Agrisure Viptera is consistent with the North American Export Grain Association's (NAEGA) policy to advocate that technology providers receive all major international approvals for a trait prior to seed sales. The grain export industry, which includes Bunge, notified Syngenta more than a year ago that China is considered a major export market."
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China is currently the seventh largest destination for U.S. corn with imports expected to grow significantly this year."