Cargill Incorporated says it will not accept Syngenta AG's (SYT) genetically modified Agrisure Viptera corn at its North American wet milling plants until the corn variety is approved by the European Union. The corn line was barred earlier by St. Louis-based Bunge Ltd. Bunge is awaiting additional export market approval, particularly from China. Syngenta sued Bunge on August 22 over the refusal.
Reuters quoted a Cargill spokeswoman as saying, "Cargill strongly values its right to accept or restrict products of agricultural biotechnology, dependent on the approval status in export markets and needs of our customers". The spokeswoman continued, "Consistent with our long-standing wet milling position, Cargill cannot accept Viptera at these facilities until it has received regulatory approvals in the EU".
Viptera, which has been bioengineered to protect against insect damage, represents less than 2% of the U.S. corn crop. It has been approved for shipment to several major corn export markets. Meanwhile, Syngenta said it has been in contact with U.S. ethanol plants to identify "suitable outlets" for Viptera corn.