EU Biotech Situation Haunts Corn Market

Growing concern over how to determine if Bt10 corn is present in corn shipments from U.S.

News of Syngenta's unintended release of corn continues to be a "cloud hanging over the market that keeps a lid on rallies," says Farm Futures market analyst Arlan Suderman.

Europe, South Korea and Japan are all considering action against imports of U.S. corn and/or corn products. The E.U. said Monday that it is considering suspending all imports of corn gluten feed from the U.S, a market worth nearly $300 annually. The EU wants a diagnostic test to determine whether Bt10 exists in bulk corn shipments. However, there is no diagnostic test currently available that can detect the strain from others in mass shipments.

The Associated Press reports the biotech activist group Greenpeace urged the European Union Tuesday to ban all food crop imports from the U.S. over concerns that other non-approved biotech corn could make it into the EU market.

"South Korean food companies are temporarily seeking other sources of food grade corn and problems are emerging with Japan as well," says Suderman. "The corn market can ill-afford additional losses to export demand when surplus supplies are already the largest in 17 years."

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