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3-Food: U.S. Department of Agriculture cannot detect StarLink in exports to Japan

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TITLE:  GIPSA Says Tests Here Were Negative for StarLink in Shipment to 
SOURCE: Agweb, USA, by Roger Bernard
DATE:   Jan 7, 2003

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GIPSA Says Tests Here Were Negative for StarLink in Shipment to Japan

USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) said 
it is continuing to work with Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor, and 
Welfare (MHLW) to investigate the recent report that StarLink corn was 
detected in a portion of a U.S. export shipment.

On December 27, 2002, the Japanese MHLW reported a positive test for 
StarLink in a 1,200-ton portion of a 19,234-ton shipment. This is the first 
shipment to test positive since a protocol was developed and implemented in 
2000, following the discovery of StarLink in U.S. grain. MHLW has now 
indicated that it will increase the rate of testing of future shipments.

"GIPSA continues to investigate this situation. At this point, we have 
determined that the buyer's and seller's contract, which required the 
shipment to be tested prior to export, was followed," according to Dave 
Shipman, Deputy Administrator for the Federal Grain Inspection Service. 
"The barges that made up this shipment were tested under conditions that 
met the established protocol, and were conducted by a network of official 
agencies designated by GIPSA to perform official inspection services. All 
test results were negative."

GIPSA administers a monitoring program to evaluate the accuracy of StarLink 
testing services provided by its designated agencies. The most recent 
report shows the agencies' accuracy rate was 97.9 percent. Japan 
implemented a program in April 2001 to monitor for the presence of StarLink 
in food corn shipments imported from the United States. This is this first 
time MHLW has reported a positive test result.

"GIPSA's StarLink testing program has been extremely successful during the 
past 2 years to assure buyers and sellers alike that our corn exports are 
negative for StarLink," said Shipman. "While our initial investigation 
indicates that testing requirements were met or exceeded, we are continuing 
to work with MHLW to determine the reasons for the differing test results. 
Our goal is to ensure an effective and reliable system and we hope this 
investigation will provide additional information to continue to maintain a 
strong testing program."


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