Syngenta responds to Viptera corn marketing controversy
AgProfessional was one of the first national sources of information about two major grain companies announcing they would not be accepting corn containing the Agrisure Viptera trait. Syngenta has since provided its side to the situation by several means including mail, e-mail and personal telephone calls to their sales representatives and customers.
The contention by Syngenta is that the company did nothing unusual or out of line with past international registration and acceptance of biotech trait corn. Communication to those who planted hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera trait hybrids and face the loss of outlets for their grain, including Bunge and Consolidated grain companies, has included a Web site for reading an extensive question and answer document.
It was China not having approved import of grain containing the Viptera trait that spurred everything happening at the moment. Syngenta says it received the recommended import market approvals, but the company was caught in an unexpected situation where China could be importing large volumes of U.S. corn.
Syngenta has tried to start their communication out on as positive a note as possible in suggesting that corn growers have options for storing or selling their corn. A full Syngenta explanation follows:
“Chinese orders for U.S. corn increased in July and recently began to include the 2011 crop. China has not previously represented a substantial portion of the U.S. corn export market. Syngenta has obtained U.S. and key import market approvals for the Agrisure Viptera trait for all major markets as recommended by both the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). However, we are still awaiting import approval from China, which we expect in late March 2012.
“While we are in compliance with these industry association guidelines, Bunge and Consolidated Grain & Barge (CGB) have indicated they will not accept grain containing the Agrisure Viptera trait. We are disappointed with their decision; however, other major grain companies have told Syngenta that they are accepting grain containing the Agrisure Viptera trait.
The attached question and answer document is being distributed to our resellers and customers along with other information to assist them. Syngenta is working with the grain trade, the NCGA, ethanol groups and other stakeholders to address this situation with minimal disruption to the marketplace, to growers and to our resellers. Syngenta has established a toll-free number with a listing of sites accepting grain with the Agrisure Viptera trait by ZIP code. To access this information, please email Export.Info@syngenta.com or call 800-319-1360 between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. CST, Monday through Saturday. All of this information can be found at AgrisureViptera.com/exportinfo.”