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7-Business: "Biotech companies have caused GMO marketing problems" US Corn Growers say



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TITLE:  CORN GROWERS SAY OPPORTUNITY LIES IN FULFILLING NON-GMO DEMAND
SOURCE: American Corn Growers Association, USA, Press Release
        http://www.acga.org
DATE:   October 16, 2001

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____________________________________________________________________________
  "Multinational processor and exporter Archer Daniels Midland recently 
  announced it would offer a 20-cent-per-bushel premium for non-GMO beans 
  delivered to its Decatur, Ill., processing plant and premiums in other 
  locations of 6-12 cents per bushel for proven non-GMO corn and 10 cents
  for non-GMO soybeans."
____________________________________________________________________________

CORN GROWERS SAY OPPORTUNITY LIES IN FULFILLING NON-GMO DEMAND

WASHINGTON --- Oct. 16, 2001 --- Canadian inspectors begin checking U.S. 
corn at the border this week for GMO-StarLink contamination and the 
European Union implements its traceability program for genetically modified 
crops and products, processors and exporters announce premiums for non-GMO 
corn and soybeans, the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) urges 
farmers to meet the demands of foreign markets.

"The preferences of foreign buyers and the consumers they serve cannot be 
ignored by U.S. farmers when they decide what crop varieties to plant, 
unless they are willing to continue alienating importers and handing over 
import markets to competitor exporting countries,Ó says Dan McGuire, 
director of the ACGA Farmer Choice-Customer First program. "Instead of 
bemoaning the fact that the European Union is going to require 
traceability, labeling and a 1 percent tolerance on GMOs, U.S. farm and 
commodity groups should be encouraging and helping farmers meet the needs 
of foreign customers.

Multinational processor and exporter Archer Daniels Midland recently 
announced it would offer a 20-cent-per-bushel premium for non-GMO beans 
delivered to its Decatur, Ill., processing plant and premiums in other 
locations of 6-12 cents per bushel for proven non-GMO corn and 10 cents for 
non-GMO soybeans. Other U.S. grain companies and exporters are also paying 
premiums for non-GMO commodities.

"While some in the U.S. grain industry have apparently been operating under 
the na•ve notion that the European Union could be forced to cave in to U.S. 
pressure and be told that they had to buy what some in the U.S. ÔinsistÕ 
they buy, itÕs time to let go of that illusion and put grain buyer demands 
well above biotech company, GMO seed and chemical sales agendas,Ó added 
McGuire.

According to ACGA the European Union continues to import about 2.5 million 
metric tons (MMT) of corn annually, but not from the U.S., from our 
competitors. The EU has steadily decreased its purchases of U.S. corn from 
about 2.8 MMT in 1995/96 to the equivalent of only one hold of one ship 
(6,300 MT) in the just-ended 2000/2001 marketing year. Japan reduced its 
U.S. corn purchases last year by over 50 million bushels. The ACGA 
estimates that the U.S. has foregone about 350 million bushels of corn 
exports to those two markets combined since 1997/98, the year after GMO 
corn was introduced in the U.S. Those lost sales result in higher ending 
corn inventories here in the U.S., which results in lower farm-gate corn 
prices.

Brazil and China are aggressively capturing U.S. corn markets. Argentine 
growers recently announced a move to implement identity preservation plans 
to ensure the non-biotech integrity of Flint corn, guaranteeing customers a 
non-biotech food product. Argentine Flint corn is already preferred by EU 
buyers. The U.S. canÕt afford to continue the arrogant approach that the EU 
has to import what some in the U.S. tell them to. That strategy is absurd. 
"If the U.S. has to expand its identity-preserved (IP) marketing system 
then lets not pretend otherwise. The first blatant reality is that European 
buyers and other import markets are already paying a premium for non-GMO 
U.S. commodities. One large grain company official recently observed, Ôwe 
canÕt afford not to absorb the costs of IPÕ. And while importers in 
Europe, 
Japan and other countries are already paying a premium to buy high quality, 
non-GMO commodities, the fact is that biotech companies should also help 
absorb the costs. Current U.S. farm policy guarantees grain buyers very low 
market prices for the corn they buy from farmers at the first point of 
delivery. Biotech companies have caused GMO marketing problems,Ó concluded 
McGuire.



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