Commodity buyers worldwide are rejecting Syngenta’s GM corn

One of America’s biggest manufacturers of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Ingredion, has just announced that it will not be using a new strain of genetically modified (GM) corn from biotech company Syngenta.

This is huge news in the fight against GM crops in the States.

Of course, in an ideal world, it would be great if HFCS was banned, or at least not used in so many processed foods, because it is responsible for a huge number of health issues – from metabolic syndrome in children to hypertension, myocardial infarction, dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, obesity, hepatic dysfunction, and fetal insulin resistance. That said, though, for one big food giant to stand up to Syngenta (the ‘other Monsanto’) means that there must be very serious health concerns about its GM corn. Nobody is saying what. But anyway, it’s mighty refreshing for at least one part of the American food industry to finally find the line in the sand beyond which it won’t go to make a quick buck.

The particular GM variety of corn in question is Agrisure Duracade, and although Ingredion didn’t give its reasons for rejecting it, many others around the world have already refusing to have anything to do with that, and another Syngenta variety. The Chinese won’t import it, and it has also been rejected by the European Union. The American corn farmers are also baulking against sowing it – and another Syngenta variety, Viptera – because they can’t find enough buyers for any corn grown from those GM seeds in the global market. Nobody wants it.

By rejecting Duracade, Ingredion is joining major commodities traders — including Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd — that have refused to trade in Duracade corn. These companies explained their decision by noting that major corn importers including China and the European Union will not accept MIR162 GM corn varieties.

Syngenta is attempting to persuade farmers that the refusal of major purchasers to buy MIR162 corn does not make it unsellable. It has partnered with Japanese-owned grain merchant Gavilon to help connect farmers with buyers of MIR162 corn, including buyers in Mexico and Japan. The company has also released a “fact sheet” downplaying the financial importance of corn exports.

Battle of the food giants

Yet, on October 6, a number of major agribusiness companies, including Cargill, filed lawsuits against Syngenta, claiming that the company had given them the false impression that Viptera had already been approved for import into China, thereby costing the companies more than $131 million worth of rejected shipments, and costing the U.S. corn industry at least $1 billion.

Historically, China has been very welcoming of GM grains. Yet, in recent years, the agriculture ministry has begun putting new GM varieties through a more rigorous approval process, one of many signs that the country may be growing more skeptical of GM crops.

In November 2013, Chinese agricultural inspectors detected traces of MIR162 in corn shipments from the United States. Although MIR162 comprises only a small proportion of the overall corn harvest, U.S. corn-processing practices regularly mix corn from different growers together in giant storage facilities, leading to cross-contamination.

The Chinese government rejected all contaminated shipments. According to Cargill and its co-plaintiffs, China was formerly the third-largest market for U.S. corn exports. Since the MIR162 scandal, Chinese imports have dropped 85 percent, the plaintiffs said, driving corn prices to a five-year low and costing the industry more than $1 billion.

Syngenta should not have offered the corn for purchase without first obtaining import approval, the plaintiffs allege.

Notably, the lawsuit — by companies that regularly champion GM foods, no less — adopts a position previously raised by many GMO opponents: that planting of MIR162 could lead to genetic contamination of nearby fields, thereby affecting even those farmers who have chosen not to plant the GM seed.

But GM food is not only a problem for Americans – it is also increasingly becoming a problem for us in the UK too. To find out more, get ….

Shop GMO-Free in the UK app

We’re the first to bring out an app containing the GM status of more than 10,000 foods sold in UK supermarkets, Shop GMO-Free in the UK, which you can download for free here!

 Thanks to Natural News for this article.

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