Japan finds 9th U.S. cargo tainted with Bt10 / Japan Bt10 update (25/8/2005)

1.Japan finds 9th U.S. corn cargo tainted with Bt-10 - Reuters
2.Japan Bt10 update - Akiko Frid

excerpt: "More contaminated cargoes will likely be found, as the ministry has stepped up its tests to cover all U.S. corn cargoes."

1.Japan finds 9th U.S. corn cargo tainted with Bt-10
Reuters, 23 Aug 2005

TOKYO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Agriculture Ministry said it discovered a ninth U.S. feed grain cargo tainted with Bt-10 biotech corn, and has told the importer to destroy it or ship it back to the United States.

The tainted cargo arrived on Aug. 1 at the port of Shibushi on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, the ministry said in a statement issued late Monday. Samples containing Bt-10 were taken from 5,963 tonnes of corn in the vessel.

The ministry did not name the importer.

Samples from the U.S. feed corn cargo tested positive for traces of Bt-10, a genetically modified (GMO) corn strain made by Swiss agrochemicals group Syngenta AG that has not been approved for distribution.

Syngenta said in March that some of its corn seeds in the United States had been mistakenly contaminated with Bt-10 from 2001 to 2004.

It was the ninth discovery since the ministry started random tests on arriving U.S. feed corn cargoes on May 23.

Japan has a zero-tolerance policy on imports of unapproved GMO crops. The ministry has proposed accepting feed grain cargoes with up to 1 percent of Bt-10 corn, to smooth the flow of U.S. corn supplies to Japan's livestock industry. But the plan is subject to approval by Japan's Food Safety Commission, an independent agency.

More contaminated cargoes will likely be found, as the ministry has stepped up its tests to cover all U.S. corn cargoes.

The chances of finding contaminated cargoes are expected to become slimmer when newly harvested U.S. corn starts to reach Japan around November, a ministry official said.

To ensure tainted supplies are not shipped to Japan, the ministry has told importers of U.S. corn they must obtain certificates stating the cargoes do not contain Bt-10.

Some U.S. grain shippers have started testing their corn shipments to Japan, in response to requests from Japanese importers. But others are reluctant to do so because of high costs and extra work to arrange tests, traders said.

2.Japan Bt10 update - 14th Aug 2005
Akiko Frid

According to the MAFF's press release dated on August 4, 2005, there have been 7 shipments from the US tested as unapproved GMO Bt10 detected positive. So far 20,812 ton detected at the customs inspection (before importing them into Japan) in 6 different ports across Japan (from Hokkaido to Kyusyu). The inspection was done by using PCR method at the silo. After the Bt10 detection, nothing can be imported as feed, in accordance with the Feed Safety Law.

US produced FEED corn Bt10 inspection result:

Date of arrival / Port of arrival / Date of Bt10 detection / Amount

2005 May 26 / Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture / May 31 / 390 ton
2005 May 30 / Tomakomai, Hokkaido Prefecture / June 3 / 822 ton
2005 May 30 / Tomakomai, Hokkaido Prefecture / June 16 / 1,170 ton
2005 June 10 / Shibushi, Kagoshima Prefecture / June 23 / 4,170 ton
2005 June 20 / Tomakomai, Hokkaido Prefecture / July 5 / 1,429 ton
2005 June 20 / Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture / July 11 / 3,880 ton
2005 June 30 / Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture / July 12 / 1,277 ton
2005 July 15 / Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture / August 4 / 7,674 ton

Bt10 contamination positive total: 20,812 (as of 2005 August 4)

(Source: Incorporated Administrative Agency - Fertilizer and Feed Inspection Services http://www.ffis.go.jp/sub8/bt10.pdf)

Veterinary Drug and Feed safety Office, Animal Health and Animal Products Safety Division, Food Safety and Consumer Affairs Bureau at MAFF Persons in charge on Bt10: Mr. Hamamoto or Mr. Motomura

Tel: +81-3-3502-8111 (ext: 3170 or 3171)
Tel: +81-3-3502-8097 (Direct line)

Related links:
- MAFF's Press Release (in Japanese):
- The MAFF: http://www.maff.go.jp/eindex.html
- Incorporated Administrative Agency - Fertilizer and Feed Inspection Services:
- Recombinant DNA Techniques - its potential and safety:
(GMO related laws in Japan including the Feed Safety Law) - US Embassy in Japan: http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/

Related news:

- From GM Watch (Thanks!)

- Arizona Department of Agriculture
Ag in the News (08/04/2005)
More Bt10 corn. Japan says it has found Bt10 corn in a seventh shipment of U.S. corn.

- Japan Now Accepting Bt10-free Certification from GeneScan USA Inc.
(Date Posted: 8

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