Earlier this year Bunge and Consolidated Grain & Barge announced they would not accept corn containing the Agrisure Viptera trait. They cited the increased corn purchases made this year by China where the trait is still awaiting approval. Syngenta has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court alleging Bunge is attempting to block the legal merchandising of the Agrisure Viptera trait which was launched in compliance with all U.S. regulatory requirements as well as industry guidelines for commercialization.
"We are taking this action to remove the illegal impediment Bunge imposed on growers when they announced mid-season that they would not accept grain enhanced by the Agrisure Viptera trait," said David Morgan, President, Syngenta Seeds, Inc. "When a product has been legally approved, growers should be able to use that technology without subsequently being subjected to arbitrary actions."
Syngenta received deregulation from the USDA for the Agrisure Viptera trait in April 2010. Since then, the technology has been approved for cultivation in Canada, Argentina and Brazil, and for import in the key markets of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan. Approval of the trait is pending in China and is expected early 2012. The reason why it was not approved in China is that there is a systematic delay in China approving traits. It has to be approved in the country of origin first before it can go through the regulatory process there.
"Our first priority is growers," said Morgan. "Growers inherently face a myriad of risks and Bunge’s decision to change grain specifications when farmers had already planted their corn is unacceptable. We are working with farmers who are impacted by this decision to help them find alternatives for delivering their grain."
Information can be found online at www.AgrisureViptera.com/exportinfo . Growers can also e-mail questions to Syngenta at Export.Info@syngenta.com or Monday through Saturday, between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Central time, they can call 800-319-1360.