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Website keeps biotech corn headed to approved markets
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A website operated in cooperation with Purdue University provides corn growers and elevator operators with information on handling procedures and markets for their biotech grain.

The Market Choices website, at www.marketchoices.info, contains information about facilities that accept genetically modified and non-genetically modified corn products. It also provides information on countries where genetically modified products are approved, such as the United States, Canada and Japan.

“The important thing is that producers get an updated list each year to know where the buying locations are,” said Dirk Maier, Purdue Extension grain quality specialist. “Each year the list on the website changes slightly to fit the changing markets.”

The general concern is to ensure that corn hybrids unapproved for export to certain countries are not delivered to those markets, Maier said.

“European markets have not opened the door to biotech corn,” he said. “It is the responsibility of corn producers and elevators to ensure the corn products and byproducts don’t get exported to these markets.”

For example, corn processing facilities, like A.E. Staley in Lafayette, Ind., purchase corn from local farms to make products such as food starches and sweeteners. These products are sent to other companies, including those outside the United States. Using the Market Choices website, the chances of these products going to the wrong markets can be greatly reduced, Maier said.

Grain elevators can be included in the Market Choices database by registering with the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). The Market Choices website also offers a link to ASTA’s website, at www.amseed.com

Published in the November 2, 2005 issue of Farm World.

11/3/2005