China has questioned the quality of genetically modified corn delivered from the United States this month, the China National Grains and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC) said July 27.
China’s COFCO Co. Ltd. ordered its first shipment of genetically modified U. S. corn in May. It has sought corn imports after a gap of four years amid fears that the country’s harvest would be reduced as a result of drought and unseasonably cold temperatures in major growing regions of the northeast.
The first cargo landed at Shenzhen in the southeastern province of Guangdong on July 21, but inspectors have found that more than 10 per cent of the corn has suffered damage, analysts at ABN Amro said in a note to clients.
CNGOIC analysts said the problems had arisen because China was now imposing stricter quality standards on corn.
A representative with a U. S. importer based in Shanghai denied that the shipments were being turned away, or that there was any serious problem with the quality of the corn.
“The corn is currently being inspected and there are no results as yet.
Feng Lichen, chief analyst with industry website www.yumi.com.cn, said excessive water content meant the imported corn had been contaminated with mould.
Feng said the figure was probably not as high as 10 per cent, but it was still enough to justify turning the cargoes away.
“If three to four per cent of a cargo is mouldy, then the whole cargo can’t be used. That’s in the contracts,” he said.
“The quality of these shipments is not as good as we expected. They might be suitable as duck feed but they are not good enough for pigs.”