Turkey is no longer accepting imports of U.S. corn co-products following the stepped-up enforcement of existing biosafety laws that restrict which genetically modified (GM) corn varieties may enter the country’s grain supply, according to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).
As of Dec. 8, three shipments of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have been rejected following the detection of unapproved GM traits, and for the same reason at least one other vessel of U.S. DDGS has been diverted from Turkey to another buyer while on the water.
USGC alerted members that other shipments of corn co-products including DDGS sent to Turkey were also likely to be rejected.
Internal issues are the apparent cause of new enforcement measures that are leading to these rejections. One factor is that some companies inside Turkey that do not import DDGS have encouraged the Turkish government to increase its oversight of those that do import DDGS.
Turkey has approved 16 GM corn events including 13 in December 2011 and three more in February 2012.
However, the country has also rejected six GM corn traits, added USGC. There have been no new applications for approval since February 2012. All of the approvals and rejections were based on applications from the Turkish Federation of Food and Drink Industry Associations and the Turkish Feed Millers Association rather than technology providers, who traditionally submit the filings.
Since the Turkish biosafety law was put into effect in 2011, USGC said U.S. exports of DDGS to the country have varied as trading companies took differing approaches to working within the restrictions that are now being fully enforced.
“Because U.S. DDGS is now being rejected under existing law, options for quick recourse are limited,” the USGC said. “USGC staff and consultants in the region and in the United States are working with contacts in Turkey and at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara to find an appropriate solution and reopen the market.”
Additionally, USGC said its staff members around the world will continue to work to find appropriate markets for U.S. DDGS and other products, including shipments that have been turned away.