Japan Finds Starlink In U.S. Corn Cargo

Japan has found trace amounts of unapproved StarLink biotech corn in a U.S. shipment bound for Tokyo's food supply, U.S. exporters told Reuters News Service last week.

Last Thursday, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries detected StarLink corn in a U.S. corn shipment aboard The North King, docked at Nagoya harbor, three U.S. exporters told Reuters.

"We can confirm that in fact some food corn was detected as StarLink," one U.S. exporter, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters. "They randomly test inbound corn for StarLink, both food and feed corn."

A USDA official said he was not aware of Japan's findings on StarLink corn, but was looking into the matter. In the U.S., StarLink was approved for animal feed but not for human consumption because of concerns over possible allergic reaction.

In September 2000, the discovery of StarLink corn in taco shells sparked a nationwide food recall, hampered exports to Japan and South Korea and spawned class-action lawsuits from farmers as corn prices fell.

Editors note: Richard Brock, Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.