New ACGF survey shows only 26 percent of elevators segregate GM
The AmericancornGrowers Foundation surveyed 1,057 grain elevators during April 2007 in the 18 states that produce the majority of U. S. grain.
"Only 26 percent of the elevators surveyed report that they require the segregation of GMO (genetically modified) varieties from Non-GMO varieties. This finding raises concerns about the ability of the U.S. to hold on to the criticalcorngluten export market that is so important to the future health of our ethanol sector," reports Dan McGuire, Director of the ACGF Farmer Choice-Customer First program. "Both the ACGF and the AmericancornGrowers Association are again warning U.S.cornfarmers and the critically-important U.S. ethanol industry that key U.S.corngluten export markets are being lost due to unapproved biotech varieties, specifically an unapproved Btcornvariety was detected in U.S. cargoes ofcorngluten feed and pellets in April 2007 at the Port of Rotterdam and shipped from New Orleans."
"According to USDA data for the currentcornmarketing year which began on September 1, 2006, U.S.corngluten exports are 38.1 percent below the year earlier to the European Union for the September to March period and the EU has been by far the most important export market for U.S.corngluten feed and meal," said McGuire. "Foreign demand for U.S.corngluten is extremely important for the economic future ofcornprocessing ethanol plants. As recently as the 1999-00 marketing year the EU imported 5 million of the 5.8 million metric tons of total U.S.corngluten exports. By marketing year 2005-2006, U.S.corngluten exports had dropped to only 3.6 MMT with the EU-27 importing only 2.655 MMT. It's time to re-learn the marketing reality that 'the customer is always right' in deciding what they choose to buy."
"Farmers are realizing relatively strongcornprices as a welcome change due to growth in the domestic ethanol industry, which needs the export market forcorngluten as well as distillers dried grains," said Larry Mitchell, ACGA Chief Executive. "Biotech companies have preached that the U.S. should be able to grow the grain varieties it wants, but given the failure and arrogance of U.S. 'export-oriented' farm policy over the past ten years of telling the world what they will buy, taken together with the grain export sector's ill-conceived attempts to 'privatize' export grain inspection at our ports, importers are losing confidence in the U.S. system. It's time for both the biotech and export sectors to reconsider their arrogant policies."
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