China Said to Increase Scrutiny of U.S. Imports for GMO Corn

December 26, 2013 03:05 AM
China Said to Increase Scrutiny of U.S. Imports for GMO Corn

China ordered wider inspections of imports of corn-based animal feed ingredients to ensure they don’t contain an unapproved genetically-modified variety of the grain, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine now requires every shipment of dried distillers’ grains, known as DDGS, to be screened for MIR 162 corn, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to comment about the order. Inspectors in Shanghai recently found and rejected one contaminated batch of DDGS from the U.S., they said.

An official at the Beijing-based administration who declined to give his name when called by Bloomberg News asked that requests for comment be faxed. The administration didn’t respond to a faxed request for comment.

The administration said in a statement last week that as of Dec. 19 it had rejected 12 regular corn shipments from the U.S. totaling 545,000 metric tons because they contained MIR 162.

China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture, Niu Dun, said last week the country wasn’t ready to import MIR 162 corn because it hadn’t received safety certification. Niu was speaking in Beijing after trade talks attended by officials including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Syngenta AG had applied several times for the approval of the insect-resistant MIR 162 grain since 2010 and was told materials and statistics submitted were incomplete, Bi Meijia, chief economist of the Ministry of Agriculture, said on Dec. 6.

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