Biotechnology Industry Channeling Program helps US farmers to sell novel trait corn crops which have not yet obtained EU import clearance.

05.04.1999

Biotechnology Industry Channeling Program helps US farmers to sell novel trait corn crops which have not yet obtained EU import clearance.

EuropaBio, the European Association of Bioindustries, wants to clarify the position being taken by the U.S. maize or corn industry with respect to genetically improved maize, currently in production in the U.S.

The fundamental issue is the delay in the approval mechanisms and processes of GM crops by the European Union. Currently, of the 11 corn varieties grown in the US, only 4 have been given EU approval.

This has caused loss of some markets for US corn producers and because of the tension that resulted, the biotechnology industry has over the past three years been supporting efforts of seed companies to develop plans with their customers to 'channel' corn that has not received EU approval in the domestic feed market.

In 1998, over 10,000 corn growers were educated about grain channeling, i.e. were advised that corn varieties unapproved in the EU must be fed on farm or marketed domestically.

Mechanisms were set up to help growers identify local elevators and contractors that specifically service domestic uses. The industry will continue to help growers looking for domestic outlets for their GM grain. Approximately 40 % of the 1999 corn crop in the U.S. will be genetically improved. About 2 % of the total U.S. maize production could involve varieties not yet approved in the European Union.