ADM Suing over GMO Corn?

Like a snake eating it’s own tail…so are the manipulations of the consolidated control aspects of USDA Approved agribusiness. China is rejecting GMO corn, so is Russia and about 60 other countries. Here in the US, we can’t get it labeled and if you eat prepared box foods or meat from the store, you are getting it whether you like it or not. What you don’t know can indeed harm you! But ADM, one of the largest ag market controlling entities, is actually suing Syngenta because China keeps refusing shipments of GMO contaminated corn. China (and ALL countries, but particularly those who are categorized as lesser developed countries by the WTO) have the right to exercise the Sanitary Phyto Sanitary clause of the WTO agreements and refuse this based on their own science based principles. I just find it really amusing that biotech is being sued by one of the biggest distributors in the world. And we can’t even get a label on food in stores….

(Two articles below, both linked to GM Watch in the title)

Archer Daniels Midland says GMO corn is killing US exports to China

on 25 November 2014.

China has rejected the “vast majority of US corn shipments” because of the presence of Syngenta’s GMO MIR162

China’s barriers to imports of some US GM crops are disrupting seed companies’ plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the US market altogether.

1. In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches
2. Archer Daniels Midland says GMO corn is killing U.S. exports to China

1. In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches

By Tom Polansek
Reuters, 25 Nov 2014
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0J90DU20141125?irpc=932

China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops are disrupting seed companies’ plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether.

Two of the world’s biggest seed makers, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, are responding with tightly controlled U.S. launches of new GMO seeds, telling farmers where they can plant new corn and soybean varieties and how can the use them. Bayer CropScience told Reuters it has decided to keep a new soybean variety on hold until it receives Chinese import approval.

Beijing is taking longer than in the past to approve new GMO crops, and Chinese ports in November 2013 began rejecting U.S. imports saying they were tainted with a GMO Syngenta corn variety, called Agrisure Viptera, approved in the United States, but not in China.

The developments constrain launches of new GMO seeds by raising concerns that harvests of unapproved varieties could be accidentally shipped to the world’s fastest-growing corn market and denied entry there. It also casts doubt over the future of companies’ heavy investments in research of crop technology.

The stakes are high. Grain traders Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] and Archer Daniels Midland Co, along with dozens of farmers, sued Syngenta for damages after Beijing rejected Viptera shipments, saying the seed maker misrepresented how long it would take to win Chinese approval.

In the weeks since Cargill first sued on Sept. 12, Syngenta’s stock has touched a three-year low. ADM in its lawsuit last week alleged the company did not follow through on plans for a controlled launch of Viptera corn.

Syngenta says the complaints are unfounded.

Bayer, told by Beijing in September that the new soybean seed, LL55, had not been approved for imports, says it will keep on trying, seven years after the company first filed its request. In the meantime, it will withhold the new seed. China granted its last import approval for any GMO grain in June 2013.

TEN YEAR EFFORT

“Our objective is to get the approval and the clearance from the Chinese authorities so that we can go into a full commercial launch as soon as possible,” said Frank Terhorst, global head of seeds for the company.

It can take up to 10 years and $150 million to develop new GMO seeds and further delays in Chinese approvals will raise concerns about Bayer’s future investment in new GMO products, Terhorst said.

The slowdown in Beijing’s regulatory process comes amidst growing consumer sentiment against GMO food in China and concerns amongst some government officials about excessive dependence on U.S. food supplies.

China is a key market for the $12 billion U.S. agricultural seeds business and for global grain traders and accounted for nearly 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports and 12 percent of corn exports two years ago. Nearly 90 percent of corn in the United States is genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as farmers embrace technology that helps kill weeds and fight pests.

It is a common practice to mix different corn varieties in storage and during transportation, so a lack of approval for one GMO variety can put at risk of rejection large shipments that include approved GMO grains.

The controlled releases by Dow and Syngenta aim to bring new GMO seeds to the U.S. market while assuring U.S. farmers and exporters that the harvests will not be rejected by countries that have not approved the GMO grain.

Dow AgroSciences this month said it will limit sales of its new genetically modified corn and soybeans next year while it waits for China’s approval. Farmers who grow the new Enlist corn must maintain isolation areas around their fields, use the corn only as livestock feed, and submit to audits of their compliance.

When Syngenta released its Agrisure Duracade corn this year, which is approved in the United States but not by China, it contracted grain handler Gavilon, owned by Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp, to oversee the launch. Gavilon assigned as many as six workers at its Omaha headquarters to keep Duracade out of markets where it had not been cleared, said Greg Konsor, general manager for grain operations.

At harvest, growers have to fill out canary-yellow tracking agreements where they identify themselves, their trucking firms and the destinations for their Duracade corn. The bright color is meant to tell buyers the shipments require special attention.

Iowa farmer Gary Vetter said that after he planted 240 acres of Duracade last spring, he received calls and certified mail from Gavilon checking on his compliance with restrictions aimed to keep the grain out of unapproved markets.

“No matter what, they want to know where the corn goes,” he said.

Controlled launches, however, are at best a temporary fix because they are costly, complicated and risk accidental contamination of other export grains, said Jim Sutter, chief executive of the U.S. Soybean Export Council.

“The long-term solution is to work with our partners in China and build confidence in the process in the way we want it to work,” he said. “Easier said than done.”

(Additional reporting by Niu Shuping in Beijing; Editing by David Greising and Tomasz Janowski)

2. Archer Daniels Midland says GMO corn is killing U.S. exports to China

By SABRINA CANFIELD
Courthouse News Service, 24 Nov 2014
http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/11/24/archer-daniels-midland-says-gmo-corn-is-killing-u-s-exports-to-china.htm

The Archer Daniels Midland Company sued the developer of a genetically modified corn, accusing the company of intentionally stymieing United States exports to China.

In a lawsuit filed in the St. Charles Parish District Court in Louisiana, ADM says Syngenta Corporation sold GMO corn seed to farmers across the U.S. without undertaking reasonable “stewardship” practices designed to ensure genetically-modified seeds do not taint or become intermixed with the regular corn seed supply.

As a result, China has rejected the “vast majority of U.S. corn shipments” because of the presence of Syngenta’s GMO MIR162, which has become intermixed with regular corn seed.

Those safeguards are critical because China, a major importer of corn from the U.S., has not approved genetically-modified corn containing Syngenta’s MIR162 genetic trait, and won’t accept shipments containing so much as a trace of GMO corn.

Syngenta’s seed is sold under the brand names Viptera and Duracade.

According to ADM, which owns 200 grain elevators across the United States, Syngenta’s actions have cost corn exporters tens of millions of dollars in lost profits.

Until recently China had been a significant purchaser of U.S. grown corn, and Archer Daniels Midland Company sold and exported substantial volumes of corn to China. China is the second-largest corn consumer in the world.

The regular corn crop has been tainted as a result of cross-pollination, where the wind has blown pollen containing MIR162 onto fields where regular corn is planted, and also by channeling, where the modified corn is combined with regular corn at processing facilities.

Once it became apparent that MIR162 corn was tainting the regular corn supply, Syngenta was warned but took no measures to quarantine its crop which made $875 million in 2013 alone, the lawsuit says.

Archer Daniels Midland Company filed the lawsuit in St. Charles Parish because that where its two largest export grain terminals and elevators are located.

The U.S. is one of the world’s top corn exporters. In 2013, the U.S. exported 18.3 million metric tons of corn. That same year, China consumed roughly 24.5 percent of the world’s corn, making it the second largest corn consumer in the world and the third largest purchaser of U.S. exported corn.

When Syngenta’s GMO corn was approved by the USDA, Syngenta had promised to follow strict guidelines, and to force farmers to also follow guidelines, to ensure the MIR162 crop did not comingle with other crops.

But forcing farmers to participate in a stewardship process when using its corn seed would have made the seed less desirable, so Syngenta didn’t require it, the lawsuit says.

Additionally, Syngenta could have asked grain elevator operators to keep its corn separate so it wouldn’t intermingle with and taint regular corn, but Syngenta didn’t. Instead, Syngenta actually encouraged the cross-pollination of its GMO corn with regular crops by telling farmers to grow GMO and regular corn side by side, according to the lawsuit.

Until recently, Syngenta had a document on its website that purported to be an approval from the Chinese government of MIR126 to encourage corn seed buyers to believe China had finally approved the GMO when actually it has not.

As a result of Syngenta’s failure to implement reasonable stewardship actions, its genetically modified corn brands, Viptera and Duracade, have cross-pollinated with neighboring corn fields, including corn fields owned by farmers who did not purchase the GMO brands of seed. When the unknowing farmers sell their tainted corn at a grain elevator, MIR162 inadvertently enters the grain supply system.

After Archer Daniels Midland Company unknowingly purchased and comingled GMO corn with its grain supply, Archer Daniels Midland Company’s supply became tainted. This happened at all of Archer Daniels Midland Company’s 200 U.S. grain elevators, the company says.

As a result, corn Archer Daniels Midland Company has attempted to export to China has been refused by the Chinese government.

The parties did not reply to emailed requests for comment.

Archer Daniels Midland Company seeks damages for negligence and violations of the unfair trade practices and consumer protection acts.

Named defendants are Syngenta Corporation, Syngenta Seeds Inc. and Syngenta Crop Protection LLC.

The lawsuit was filed by Glenn Goodier of Jones Walker LLP in New Orleans.

 

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