News & Events
By: Clover Chang, U.S. Grains Council Director in Taiwan
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently hosted a workshop in Taiwan discussing the topic of genetically modified (GM) food with school teachers and dieticians.
The Council worked with the Food Industry Research and Development Institute (FIRDI), the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and CropLife Taiwan to conduct this workshop, with topics ranging from the future of GM animals to the testing and monitoring of GM commodities and the challenges and opportunities related to cultivation of more GM plants.
Japan is consistently among the world’s leaders in biotechnology regulation, boasting a system that is science-based and, therefore, effective, timely and transparent. This does not happen by accident. Among the key contributing factors are the sophistication and scientific integrity of the regulatory teams that implement the system.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) for the first time has granted licenses to four genetically-modified corn varieties to be used for both human consumption and animal feed.
This process started four years ago when Vietnam announced it would start field trials of these four varieties of genetically-modified corn. Since then, the varieties have gone through extensive testing and evaluation, as well as being approved by Vietnam’s Council of Food Safety for Genetically-Modified Food and Animal Feed.
The second of three U.S. Grains Council (USGC) videos chronicling the 2014 U.S. corn growing season was released this week, highlighting production conditions on four farms.
The segment, which is available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAou_yuhT4A&list=UUagF3P0a0yT-_hvr4nwBUoQ, will also be presented to international audiences in conjunction with the Council’s 2014/2015 Corn Harvest Quality report set to be released this winter.
Yes, modern agriculture and biotechnology do have allies in Europe -- just not enough, yet.
This week, MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, brought its message regarding the importance of biotechnology for producers in the Americas to both private sector and governmental stakeholders in Europe. The MAIZALL team also stressed the need for a predictable, science-based regulatory regime in the EU.
Nearly 90 percent of U.S. corn planted is with biotech varieties... one out of every three U.S. farm acres is planted for export... 31 percent of U.S. gross farm income coming directly from exports. What does that mean for the U.S. producer?
It means that any biotechnology issue that puts trade at risk could impact U.S. producers' bottom line.
"The collapse of U.S. market share in corn exports to the EU coincided with the introduction of biotech events in corn, and that's not an accident," said Floyd Gaibler, the U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy and biotechnology. "It is clear that the EU uses biotechnology regulation to fence out U.S. imports, and that needs to change. That is a key goal in T-TIP."
Statement from the U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight
"The U.S. Grains Council welcomes the announcement of an aggressive stewardship program for the release of Syngenta seed trait Agrisure Duracade to minimize the risk of export trade disruption. It is important for all sectors of the value chain -- individual farmers, technology providers, shippers and exporters alike -- to recognize the potentially significant international implications of their actions. The Council therefore urges producers who choose to plant Agrisure Duracade in 2014 to adhere carefully to their stewardship responsibilities in order to minimize the risk to U.S. export sales.
Agricultural biotechnology is rapidly being adopted around the world, but continues to be a complex, global issue.
In the U.S. Grains Council's Commodity Classic booth (#1311 and 1313) on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 11:00 a.m. Central, USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight and USGC Chairman Julius Schaaf will provide comments regarding the current global biotechnology situation, including non-approved biotech events in China (among other countries), and the importance of a carefully regulated U.S. stewardship program.
Argentina has emerged as a major global competitor for corn export markets -- and actually exceeded U.S. export totals in 2013, due to the drought-suppressed U.S. figures -- but the Argentine corn sector shares important common interests in market access and biotechnology with U.S. producers.