TOKYO, July 7, 2005, Reuters
as reported by CropChoice.com: Japan has discovered a fourth
U.S. feed grain cargo tainted with Bt-10 biotech corn, and the importer
must either destroy it or ship it back to the United States, the
Agriculture Ministry said.
Samples from the U.S. feed corn cargo tested positive for traces
of Bt-10, a genetically modified (GMO) corn strain made by Swiss
agrochemicals group Syngenta AG that has not been approved for distribution.
Syngenta said in March that some of its corn seeds in the United
States had been mistakenly contaminated with Bt-10 from 2001 to
Japan has a zero-tolerance policy on imports of unapproved GMO
crops. The Agriculture Ministry has proposed accepting feed grain
cargoes with up to 1 percent of Bt-10 corn, to smooth the flow of
U.S. corn supplies to Japan's livestock industry. But the plan is
subject to approval by Japan's Food Safety Commission, an independent
In a statement issued late on Wednesday, a ministry official said
the tainted cargo arrived on June 20 at the port of Tomakomai on
the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Samples containing Bt-10
were taken from 1,429 tonnes of corn in the vessel.
The ministry did not name the importer.
It was the fourth discovery since May 23 when the ministry started
random tests on arriving U.S. corn shipments. The three previous
cases were reported on June 1, June 3 and June 23.
More contaminated cargoes will likely be found, as the ministry
has stepped up its tests to cover all U.S. corn cargoes.
To ensure tainted supplies are not shipped to Japan, the ministry
has told importers of U.S. corn they must obtain certificates stating
the cargoes do not contain Bt-10.