In time for harvest, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has again updated its database of grain handlers accepting biotech corn approved in the U.S., but not yet approved for import into the European Union (EU). Effective immediately, growers can access the updated database on ASTA’s web site at www.amseed.org.

"The feedback from both grain handlers and users continues to be positive," says ASTA Executive Vice President Dean Urmston. "More than 3,500 grain handling facilities nationwide responded in this year’s survey that they will accept grain not yet EU-approved. Since the launch of the database in 1999, there have been thousands of facilities willing to post their locations online. For the 2001 harvest, nearly 2,000 handlers have posted their location and delivery requirements."

New this year to the database is information capturing the details of grain handling and delivery policies of many facilities and locations. This new data was obtained from grain handlers throughout the United States who were interviewed in July and August 2001 about their grain handling procedures for not yet EU-approved biotech corn.

The database remains very user-friendly for farmers to search for local grain handlers. By simply typing in a zip code and citing a specific distance, the database locates facilities in the requested area and where noted, provides the facilities’ grain handling policies. Growers who do not have access to the Internet will be able to access information in the database from most seed company representatives.

Additional grain handlers will accept all U.S.-approved biotech corn, but they may not be listed on the ASTA database. Growers are again reminded to contact grain handling facilities prior to delivery to learn of any special handling requirements and to re-verify that the facility is accepting not yet EU-approved biotech corn.

"Corn growers understand their responsibility in proper stewardship of this effective technology and we are eager to ensure the integrity of the U.S. crop," says Lee Klein, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and corn grower. "This database provides an efficient and effective way to pinpoint the appropriate markets."

Nearly 80% of annual U.S. corn production is used domestically and the remainder is exported. For the 2001 crop season, about 95% of all U.S. corn has been accepted for export into all world markets. While the vast majority of our trading partners around the globe continue to evaluate and approve new biotech varieties, the EU’s regulatory system and biotech approvals remain frozen.

For a list of specific biotech corn hybrids that have not yet been approved for import by the EU, consult the Know Before You Grow section of NCGA’s Web site at www.ncga.com/biotechnology/know_where/know_grow_approved.htm.

ASTA has worked with a number of seed companies to create and update the database. They include Aventis CropScience; Garst Seed Company; Monsanto Company; Mycogen, an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC; NK Brand from Syngenta Seeds, and Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Company. In addition, a number of trade associations have provided encouragement and assistance in building the database, including the NCGA, U.S. Grains Council, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, and Corn Refiners Association. Links to the database can be found on these company web sites in addition to ASTA’s own site.