China is Rejecting GMO Corn and That Isn’t Good for American Farmers

The industrial agribusiness has embraced GMOs in the United States, but it’s having a serious effect on farmers. Most recently, China began rejecting a variety of genetically modified U.S. corn, and the rejection is reportedly costing American farmers upwards of $3 billion, according to the National Feed and Grain Association.

The genetically engineered corn in question is one invented by the seed company Syngenta. The new gene has yet to be approved in China — in fact, it has been waiting for approval for four years. Since November, China has rejected more than 1.45 million metric tons. The corn was diverted to other buyers, but as the NFGA stated, it “almost assuredly would have negotiated a discount,” which means fewer dollars for American farmers.

A rejection of U.S. grain in China has serious consequences here on home turf, as the country is one of the top importers of U.S. corn, and its demand is projected to grow. But not if GMOs are involved.

GMOs have become an increasing concern in China. This spring, the Chinese Army banned all GMO grains and oil from its military supply stations. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “because of public concern over health risks and high-level discomfort with China becoming overly reliant on GMO strains developed by foreign companies, China has stopped short of allowing commercial distribution of GMO grains.”

China isn’t the only one. Russia has now announced that it won’t import GMO products, and the United States is having a hard time reaching a trade deal with the European Union because of GMOs.

Who should the farmers blame? The governments that don’t want the grain or the companies making them? They’re unsure.

According to NPR:

A few days ago, the U.S. Grains Council wrote a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, urging his “immediate, direct, and personal intervention” with Chinese officials “to halt this current regulatory sabotage of the DDGS trade with China.”

The NGFA and the North American Export Grain Association, on the other hand, have called on Syngenta to stop selling the offending corn varieties until those varieties can be sold in major export markets.

“They’re being a bad actor here,” says Max Fisher of NGFA, referring to Syngenta. “They’re making $40 million” selling the new corn varieties, “but it’s costing U.S. farmers $1 billion.”

While companies will certainly find other channels for their grain, there’s no denying that the economic blow to farmers may fuel the conversation on GMOs moving forward.


Photo Credit: decar66


Jim Ven
Jim Ven4 months ago

thanks for the article.

Kyle N.
Kyle N.1 years ago

God bless the farmers, the ones that work their asses off to feed your fat ass!

Kyle N.
Kyle N.1 years ago

Mark, say all you want, but you have no clue about anything dealing with agriculture. Let me know when you have to work with it. You are stuck so deep in your little hole of a city that you have no clue about farming in any way. You do not know the facts behind each product or done any research on any of it to back it up. NEONICOTINOIDS have no effect on bee's since where they are used the bee's do not visit. bee's do not go to corn, no flowers, they are not known to go to soybeans. lack of nectar. they prefer canola, alfalfa, wildflowers, sunflowers. There will never be a ban on GMO crops because we know as a fact that treating a GMO crop is by far safer than treating a NON GMO crop. Plus University trial results prove that GMO outyields Non GMO significantly. The bee's this year are dong very well, quite possibly the best honey production in many years. new treatments have been holding the mite population down in hives. If those companies are lost over half of the farmers would quit and let the ground sit.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner1 years ago

Kyle N: Tirelessly propagating fake science and propaganda oriented toward the profits of his Agribusiness psychotic masters.. the pay must be good/

Kyle: Give it up, you're LOSING. Most the world is waking up to your GMO frankencrops and your earth destroying poisons. I am personally doing my part to give information to people in India about the threat to their country and to their ecologies. OUTRIGHT BAN GMO, BAN GLYSOPHATE POISONS LIKE ROUNDUP, BAN POLLINATOR AND BEE DESTROYING NEONICOTINOIDS, Most of the world has forced skull and crossbones labeling on your frankencrops. The next step is to force your terrorist organizations, Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Dupont, Sygenta out of business and treat them as the FELONS and TERRORISTS they are. North America since it is controlled by a corporate mafia with plants in the government, is conspicuously absent. "agent orange.. we call it 2,4-D" and "pre-pack of roundup". If you are in any way involved in spreading these toxins on our landscape, you are involved in criminal activity. I don't care if you are part of a larger gang of criminals.. crime is crime. Your entire gang of agribusiness "farmer" criminals is attacking the future of our planet. That kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and is not without repercussions. China has already woken up to this, to the point that corporate propagandists holding conventions about GMO and its poisons have literally been physically assaulted by the public.. a step in the right direction.

Kyle N.
Kyle N.1 years ago

Ros, nobody on this site is as close to farming as I am at the moment. some call it agent orange.. we call it 2,4-D and it is used in many residential lawns to control weeds. There already is a pre-pack of roundup, 2.4-d for pre-emerge in no till and fallow operations to conserve soil moisture. I know of the super weeds, that has to deal with some that were using low doses of roundup, any plant can become tolerant to a herbicide if not used to the labeled rate. Have Acc-ace resistant wildoats here, als resistant kocia, have heard of glyphosate tolerant waterhemp, giant ragweed, but is handled well using crop rotation where it is located. Got to have the use of roundup for many years yet until something new comes along. Keep in mind all wheat is Non GMO. Oh, found that one insect is naturally tolerant to neonicotinoid. much like spider mites are resistant to pyrethroids.

Kyle N.
Kyle N.1 years ago

I recently read another article about neonicotinoid insecticide, talking of bees, corn... Bee's and corn have nothing at all to do with each other.. corn doesn't flower. soybeans are not all that attractive to bee's and able to self pollinate. Bee's favor wildflowers, canola, mustard, sunflowers, alfalfa, clover. entomologists even doubt that neonicotinoid has anything to do with bee deaths since they are exposed to so many other toxins as well, the worst of which is in towns. the Varro mite and the documented and proven virus that the mite carries is the reason for the bee deaths. 2014 appears to be a great honey production year, prices are edging lower due to the supply.

Kyle N.
Kyle N.1 years ago

Mark, why don't you get out of the city and go work on a farm. Then you will see the reality! Roundup is the safest, least toxic herbicide to work with on a farm. So the use rate is 24oz per acre, while some EC formulations for Non Gmo crops have a rate use of 5 to 24oz per acre plus having to mix various herbicides, many of which can cause respiratory and skin issues and extended crop replanting restrictions. Who wouldn't choose roundup? The term superweed has more to do with some not using the labeled rate. If you don't know Farming you should not be commenting. GMO took hold because it DOES Yield 25 to 40% higher than it's non gmo counterpart. Soybean example... GMO avg yield of 38 bu. ac as compared to Non GMO using conventional herbicides avg yield of 25 bu. ac. Get your head out of your little indoor office and go work in a real one outdoors. I have never seen a NON GMO soybean go over 34 bu. ac but I have seen a GMO reach 54bu. ac. in my area.

Ros G.
Ros G.1 years ago

So why do they need to develop an Agent Orange chemical, Kyle if all is well on the farm? Have you heard of super-weeds and what caused them? in a farming area myself...don't farm anymore though.......

Dale O.

Oh, oh, it has really come down to this...that I can actually agree with Mark D on something, (leaving out his usual misanthropic hyperbole on overdrive that is,) can I stand the strain? Kyle N said: "It has nothing to do with GMO in any way." I would say that neonicotinoid pesticides have something to do with the demise of so many bees.

"Unfortunately for Monsanto & Co, and as most beekeepers and academics will say, the varroa mite has been around a long time, predating dramatic bee declines in U.S. that started in 2006. While mites no doubt affect bee colonies, they are unlikely the primary driver of population declines. There is a correlation, however, between the introduction of neonicotinoid pesticides (or neonics) on the market and bee die-offs. Independent studies show — and beekeepers corroborate from hands-on experience — that these pesticides weaken bees' immune systems, likely damaging their resistance to common challenges like the varroa mite."

Dale O.

Kyle N said: "GMO has allowed farmers to cut the amount of chemicals that are used. BT corn is more than welcome because it allows a defense against corn borer, rootworm which basically eliminates the need for an insecticide."

I don't agree. There are differing opinions on this, however, I don't trust Monsanto and Ilk.

"Before biotech came on the market, we had one airplane in the county to do all the aerial spraying," said McAllister. "Now they bring in seven or eight. We've got the same acreage of crops. They're just spraying more." He added that he's seen a rise in the number of children with autism, allergies and cancer around his hometown of Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Most of the air and rain samples recently collected in Iowa as part of a study contained glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup."