Biotech grain needs worldwide approval
The recent message from a Cargill official was to not blame grain exporters for refusing to accept biotech grain that has not gained full acceptance by all the world’s major grain importing countries. It is the biotech companies’ responsibilities more than any others to gain approval for worldwide shipping of grain, and it has to be enforced by the biotech companies rather than the grain companies, the official said
“We do not support the commercialization of GM traits ahead of major market approvals,” said Randal Giroux, vice president of food safety for Cargill, and reported by Christine Stebbins for Reuters News Service.
His comments came during the National Grain and Feed Association meeting last week in Chicago. His comments were pointed at the situation that occurred in the fall when Agrisure Viptera was not accepted by grain merchandisers because China had not given its approval for importing the grain.
Although whole shipments of unauthorized grain are a problem, the discovery of a single kernel of unapproved grain is equally as large a problem. "We have to recognize that when those major markets have not approved it, the threshold is zero," Giroux reportedly told the group of grain handlers.
He said the U.S. grain merchandisers must have credibility in the world, and to keep that credibility ultimately requires cooperation among seed technology companies, trade associations and grain merchandisers.