IOWA CORN GROWERS ASSN.
Iowa Corn Urges Farmers to Strictly Adhere to Stewardship Program for Agrisure Duracade(tm)
JOHNSTON, Iowa - March 20, 2014 - The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) urges farmers, handlers and exporters to strictly adhere to the stewardship program for the release of Syngenta seed trait Agrisure Duracade to minimize the risk of export trade disruption and negative impacts on the market price for the 2014 corn crop.
While approved in the United States, Agrisure Duracade is not yet approved in the European Union and China. Leakage of Agrisure Duracade into export channels risks the rejection of U.S. shipments to these important markets, and may potentially close those markets to U.S. exports entirely until regulatory approval is gained. Farmers are strongly encouraged to steward their grain appropriately to ensure it is delivered only to approved end-use markets and exported only to approved locations.
Syngenta has begun an introductory launch of Agrisure Duracade for the 2014 season and will work closely with growers to identify appropriate marketing options. Syngenta has entered into a partnership with Gavilon, to pick up and purchase - at fair market value - any Agrisure Duracade corn for which an alternative approved buyer is not found.
"Iowa Corn is monitoring this situation very closely and is ready to provide further information as needed," says Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Lynnville and current ICGA President. "Stewardship guidelines provide multiple options for grain marketing to include shipping corn to appropriate domestic elevators, feed mills, feed lots and some ethanol plants."
"It's important for all sectors of the value chain -- individual farmers, technology providers, shippers and exporters alike -- to recognize the potentially significant international implications of their actions," says Tom Sleight, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. "The Council urges producers who choose to plant Agrisure Duracade in 2014 to adhere carefully to their stewardship responsibilities in order to minimize the risk to U.S. export sales."
Biotechnology approval systems around the world are not synchronous. In addition, some countries still lack effective, trade-enabling policies regarding the low level presence of unapproved biotech events in grain shipments. Inadvertent commingling is almost certain to occur in the high volume U.S. commodity handling system, and modern testing methods are likely to detect trace levels of unapproved events.
The presence of unapproved events in the export stream therefore carries a significant risk of major international trade disruptions. Given the availability of competitively priced corn from other countries and the ability of buyers to source anywhere in the world, leakage of unapproved events into export channels may result in the closure of important markets to U.S. corn and DDGS exports for an indefinite period.
"Continued technology development is essential to achieve global food security as well as creating new opportunities for producers and agribusiness but the risk of costly trade disruption is significant and should be taken seriously," says Zylstra.
In the short term, ICGA urges all stakeholders to weigh the consequences of their actions, recognize the international implications of planting and marketing decisions, and stringently adhere to their stewardship responsibilities. In the long run, we encourage working toward a resolution of the low-level presence and asynchronous approval issues. That solution will ensure the protection of common interests of producers, agribusinesses and consumers around the world.
For more information, visit iowacorn.org/kbyg.
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