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7-Business: Syngenta says costs of GE maize tests not material

-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Syngenta says costs of maize tests not material
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   28 Jul 2005

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Syngenta says costs of maize tests not material

ZURICH, July 28 (Reuters) - Swiss agrochemicals firm Syngenta said the
costs of testing U.S. maize cargoes for an unapproved strain of its
genetically-manipulated corn were not material, and the situation was
under control.

Syngenta came under fire from environmentalists and food regulators on
both sides of the Atlantic earlier this year when the unapproved,
experimental strain of the maize, known as Bt-10, was found mixed in with
an approved variety, Bt-11.

Earlier this month, Syngenta agreed to help pay costs incurred to test
cargoes from the United States for the unapproved corn.

"All the costs we take as we go, any costs we have are accounted for in
the first half," Chief Executive Michael Pragnell said, without giving a
number. "They are small costs, not material in the context of Syngenta."

He said the testing would continue, but the cost was not expected to have
a significant impact on the firm's bottom line.

"We'd rather it hadn't happened, but it did and now it's under control,"
Pragnell added.

After several cargoes in Europe and Asia were found to have been tainted
wtih the unapproved strain, Syngenta asked the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration to approve Bt-10 corn for commercialisation. A decision is
expected by September.

The U.S. Department of AGriculture and the Environmental Protection
Agency, which also share oversight of biotech crops, have concluded that
the corn was not a danger to people, animals or plants.


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