Syngenta responds to Viptera corn marketing controversy
Questions & Answers on Chinese Import of Corn Hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait
• Chinese orders for U.S. corn increased this year and recently began to include the 2011 crop. China has not previously represented a substantial portion of the U.S. corn export market.
• The Chinese regulatory system has not approved the Agrisure Viptera™ trait (Event MIR162). This situation has caused concern among some grain traders.
• Syngenta is working with the grain trade, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and other key stakeholders to determine how best to address this new situation with minimal disruption to the marketplace.
What has happened?
Chinese orders for U.S. corn increased in July and include the 2011 crop. China has not previously represented a substantial portion of the U.S. corn export market. According to the International Grains Council, last year the U.S. exported 1.7 million tons of corn to China. Recently, they have increased their orders for U.S. corn. However, the updated U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast estimates that, even with increase, approximately 99 percent of the U.S. corn crop goes to domestic and foreign markets other than China.
Why is this causing concern with some grain traders?
The Chinese regulatory system has not yet approved the Agrisure Viptera trait. Syngenta expects to receive regulatory approval in late March 2012.
While the Agrisure Viptera trait is in compliance with the NCGA and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 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.
What is the regulatory history of the Agrisure Viptera trait?
Syngenta received deregulation from the USDA for the Agrisure Viptera trait in April 2010. Since then, the Agrisure Viptera trait has received approval in all key import markets recommended by both the NCGA and BIO. The technology has been approved for cultivation in Canada, Argentina and Brazil, and for import in the key markets of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan. Syngenta applied for Chinese approval of its Agrisure Viptera trait in March 2010 (upon approval in Brazil) and currently expects to receive regulatory clearance in late March 2012.