China announces unachievable biotech certification requirements

U.S. Grains Council calls for MIR 612 approval after China's latest DDGS requirement.

Chinese import inspection authority, AQSIQ, announced this week new biotech certification requirements for distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) which call for a certificate from the point of origin - in the case of U.S. shipments, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - guaranteeing that the shipment is free of the biotech trait MIR 612.

The mandate was made effective immediately, causing serious disruptions with existing DDGS trade and making future DDGS trade hard to achieve, according to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). USGC is asking China to approve MIR 612 since the U.S. does not produce the type of certificate required.

"China is asking for something that cannot be done. This certificate they're asking for does not exist," said Tom Sleight, USGC's president and chief executive officer. “It cannot be produced from a U.S. government authority; they do not inspect for biotech traits.”

"It's time for China to look at and approve this trait," Sleight said. "It's been approved for commercialization in the United States since 2010, and it's been approved by all importing countries, including the European Union, for quite some time. We think that the lack of approval of MIR 162 is becoming an undue impediment on trade."

USGC is working to address the new disruption to DDGS trade with the U.S. government and the U.S. ambassador to China, as well as with MAIZALL, which represents grower organizations in several major corn exporting countries.

Meanwhile, USGC staff and consultants around the world are working with other markets interested in DDGS, particularly since prices have declined.

"We have some really excellent prospects that are panning out quite nicely, particularly in Mexico, Taiwan, Canada, the rest of Latin America and Korea. There's a lot of interest in this product."

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