September 18, 2014
US-China talks on DDGS testing bog down
The United States and China have failed to settle a dispute on testing procedures that would ensure that the distiller's dried grains (DDGS) the latter imports is free from genetically-altered content.
Representatives from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) met late last week to discuss ways to successfully address China's concerns.
Reports, however, indicate that both sides could not reach any consensus on shipments already on the way or signed for.
"There is no agreement. It will be good if both sides apply same testing methods, which should be economic and efficient," news reports quoted a source familiar with the discussion.
International trader Cargill and another firm have sued the Swiss-based seed maker, claiming that Syngenta's failure to win Chinese approval for the strain has cost them millions of dollars in losses.
According to reports, China prefers polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which is more sensitive to genetic material. But the USconsiders the procedure time-consuming and expensive.
China's quarantine authority has stopped issuing import permits to those companies delivering cargoes found to have contained MIR 162.
"Since there is no agreement, we are considering not paying supplier for the cargoes already on the way," one Chinese buyer was quoted in news reports as saying.
China's imports of US DDGS is expected to rise 57.5% on-year in 2014 to 6.3 million tonnes, said the China National Grain and Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC). Imports in the first seven months of the year rose 187% to 3.91 million tonnes, the reports add.