China Stops Importing GMO Grain from US

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According to trading executives who spoke with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Chinese government has suspended issuing permits to import made-in-the-US animal feed ingredients made from corn.

The trading executives said that as of June 6, China will no longer accept US shipments of dried distiller’s grains, known as “DDGS,” because the Chinese government has declared them to have a high risk of contaminating MIR 162, a GMO strain that China has not approved.

As stated in the report: “China is the largest buyer of the by-product produced when corn is stripped of starch for ethanol production. While U.S. corn shipments into the country plunged amid restrictions on the MIR 162 variety, imports of DDGS continued to rise because some port officials had been lenient, said Sylvia Shi, an analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co.”

Although a spokesperson from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine in Beijing asked BusinessWeek to fax questions to the office, no one from the office has yet commented on the situation.

According to BusinessWeek, about 613,678 tons of DDGS imports “were reported by China’s customs in April, a monthly record, according to Shanghai JC data. About 600,000 tons, tested positive for MIR 162, are still held at some ports and may be returned, according to the Chinese researcher.”

In a separate report by the group GMO Watch, it was reported that, “This development did not come as a total surprise, following as it did China’s recent rejection of 1.1 million metric tons of Syngenta corn containing the unapproved GMO strain MIR162. Official news said that though Syngenta has repeatedly submitted the Lepidoptera-resistant GM corn for review and import into China, the documenting information and experimental data were incomplete and problematic. Thus the corn is still under assessment and has not been approved for import.”

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