China has rejected a shipment of U.S. corn because it tested positive for an unapproved GMO variety, reports Reuters.
The strain of corn is Syngenta AG's Agrisure Viptera, also known as MIR 162, which is not yet approved for consumption in China. However, it could be approved in the country by 2014, according to Reuters, "It is approved for import by numerous U.S. trading partners, including Mexico, the European Union and top corn importer Japan."
MIR 162 is "designed to offer enhanced protection against crop-damaging insects," traders told Reuters. It is widely grown in the United States "so traces of the grain may have been commingled with approved corn strains in a shipment to China."
Once a corn exporter, China is now one of the world's largest corn importers, purchasing nearly all of its corn from the U.S., and is expected to purchase 7 million tons in the 2013/2014 marketing year, reports Reuters.
Reuters reports the contamination appears to only have been found in one shipment, and there are no other reports of rejected corn. U.S.-grown wheat found contaminated with GMOs earlier this year led to import rejections and further testing from Japan, South Korea and EU member states. Wheat farmers who took a loss as a result filed suit against Monsanto, the patent holder on the GMO contaminated wheat.
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