Grain groups to Syngenta: Please stop

by Jay Sjerven
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WASHINGTON — The North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (N.G.F.A.) have issued a joint statement urging Syngenta to immediately halt commercialization of its Agrisure Viptera (MIR 162) and Duracade biotechnology-enhanced corn until Chinese and other export market approvals are granted. The request was made in the aftermath of rejections of U.S. corn and distillers dried grains by Chinese authorities because of the presence of non-approved Agrisure Viptera corn.

“On Jan. 22, 2014, our associations sent a letter to Syngenta asking the company to immediately halt commercialization in the United States of its Agrisure Viptera corn and Agrisure Duracade corn until such time as China and certain other U.S. export markets have granted required regulatory approvals/authorizations,” the N.G.F.A. and NAEGA said.

The associations noted they strongly support agricultural biotechnology and other scientific and technological innovations that contribute to production efficiency and availability of a safe, abundant and high-quality food and feed supply for U.S. and world consumers.

“However, NAEGA and N.G.F.A. are gravely concerned about the serious economic harm to exporters, grain handlers and, ultimately, agricultural producers — as well as the United States’ reputation to meet its customers’ needs — that has resulted from Syngenta’s current approach to stewardship of Viptera,’” the associations said. “Further, the same concerns now transcend to Syngenta’s intended product launch plans for Duracade, which risk repeating and extending the damage. Immediate action is required by Syngenta to halt such damage.”
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