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Genetically modified (GMO) corn has been rejected by China because Beijing officials considered the genetically engineered crop strain “contaminated.”
The specific type of corn, Syngenta AG’s Agrisure Viptera, had not been approved by China.
The rejection of the corn led to a drop Monday in grain and soybean futures and a three-year low for the price of corn amid at the Chicago Board of Trade amid concerns that China is going to limit not just corn but all agriculture imports.
As previously reported by Off The Grid News, a similar steep drop in wheat and alfalfa prices occurred earlier this year when GMO strains of the crops were discovered in Washington and Oregon.
Corn imports to China had been a growing market, especially this year with a lackluster corn crop in the Asian country. Natural News reports that American farmers noted a “record harvest” of their corn crops, something that would have been good news on the global marketplace due to the difficulties some nations have with meeting the increased demand for food.
Said one trading manager:
We are worried. At this stage, we have to wait and see before making any judgment whether the government is sending a signal to the market that it does not want more imports or whether this is simply a guarantee issue.
China’s decision is bad news for American farmers and the United States economy. Food is one of the few products still made in the good ole’ USA, and if America’s increased use of GMO seeds thwarts the agricultural industry, the US economy could be in further jeopardy.
Paul Minehart, head of Corporate Communications-North America for Syngenta Corporation, told Reuters he was “not aware of any such incident” when asked about China refusing to accept the genetically modified corn. Agrisure Viptera was reportedly engineered to increase resistance to insects which are widely regarded as crop damagers. Some agricultural experts feel the genetic pollution China is concerned about stems from the GM strain “commingling” with approved corn.
The rejected GMO corn shipment weighed approximately 60,000 tons. The United States has historically been the world’s top corn exporter, sending nearly 20 percent of the annual harvest outside of the country annually.
In 2010, the same China-owned trading bureau also rejected a US corn shipment after traces of “unapproved GMO” were found. Corn prices in China reportedly are about 20 percent higher than US grown corn due to the government’s decision to stockpile more of the crop in an effort to “support farmers.” China is slated to import a record of seven million tons of corn during the current growing season, according to USDA figures.
Meanwhile in Hawaii, Syngenta and its biotech peers Monsanto, BASF, Dow and DuPont will have to find a new place to grow genetically modified crops because the state is yanking away the welcome mat. For several years GMO seeds and crops have been experimented with on Kauai, Oahu and Molokai farms. Hawaii’s “Big Island” has not been used for GMO crops, and thanks to a new ordinance passed by Hawaii County Council – they never will be.
The Hawaii island lawmakers voted 6-2 on a motion which forbids GMO organism operations by biotech companies on the Big Island. The papaya industry, which currently operates more than 200 farms, was exempted from the Hawaii County Council ordinance. Anyone violating the order face a $1,000 per day fine. The passage of Bill 113 occurred just days after Kauai went forward with legislation that “severely” increased regulation of biotech companies like top producer Monsanto.
Before Hawaii Bill 113 passed citizens lined up on both sides of the controversial issue to make their voices heard. Resident Helen Love said, “Forcing genes of one species into another and changing the DNA of plans is not natural and could turn out to be a huge danger, similar to nuclear disasters of our planet that we can’t put out.”
How do you feel about the China GMO corn rejection and the ban on GMO seed operations on Hawaii’s Big Island?