USSEC Urges Long-Term Strategy as GMO Seed Makers Limit U.S. Launches in Wake of Chinese Rejections
- General News
China’s barriers to some U.S. genetically modified crops continue to disrupt seed companies’ plans for new product launches and has kept at least one variety out of the U.S. market.
Two of the world’s biggest seed makers, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, have responded to China’s slow approvals with tightly controlled U.S. launches of new GMO seeds, telling farmers where they are allowed to plant new soybean and corn varieties and how they can be used. A third company, Bayer CropScience, will keep a new soybean variety on hold until it receives import approval from China.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter says that controlled launches are at best a temporary fix because they are costly, complicated and risk accidental contamination of other export grains. “The long-term solution is to work with our partners in China and build confidence in the process in the way we want it to work,” he says.
USSEC has persisted in its efforts to increase biotech acceptance in China to continue the access of U.S. soy to key global markets. USSEC’s three-prong plan includes engaging the Chinese industry to talk with their government about potential supply problems; building Chinese consumer confidence through programs such as U.S. Farm Moms to China; and engaging the International Soybean Growers Alliance (ISGA) to work with like-minded countries. USSEC has also developed a brochure and white paper, “Dispelling the Myths,” available in both English and Chinese.
China is a key market for the $12 billion U.S. agricultural seeds business and for global grain traders, accounting for nearly 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports two years ago.