The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) on January 23 issued a joint statement urging Syngenta to immediately halt the commercialization in the United States of its Agrisure Viptera and Duracade biotech-enhanced corn traits, which have not yet been approved by China.

The joint statement was issued in response to rejections of U.S. corn and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGs) by Chinese authorities because of the presence of Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera corn, as well as Syngenta's recent commercialization this year of Duracade. 

The joint statement may be useful to NGFA-member companies in communicating with farmer-customers and other commercial parties.  However, each member company needs to determine for itself whether and how best to address limitations, if any, it may have on accepting delivery of commodities containing biotech-enhanced traits that do not have certain export market approvals or functionally different output traits.

A copy of the joint statement on NGFA and NAEGA letterhead is available to be used as a handout or for distribution.

In addition, the NGFA is making available options for sample grain contract clause language based upon provisions developed by NGFA several years ago to assist grain purchasers who wish to address issues that may arise concerning the introduction and commercialization of new biotech-enhanced traits.  One or more of the sample contract clause options are available online and may be relevant and applicable.  The sample boilerplate biotech contract language options, which are presented in no particular order or preference, should be read and considered carefully before being used.  Importantly, as with all contractual matters, it is recommended strongly that companies consult with competent legal counsel before making changes to legal documents, such as grain contracts.