Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NAMA Disappointed

NAMA Disappointed with USDA Decision to Deregulate 3272 Amylase Corn
North American Millers’ Association
February 11, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) is disappointed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision today to deregulate Syngenta’s 3272 Amylase Corn Trait without conditions. USDA failed to use its authority to consider the petition for deregulation as one for the production of a plant made industrial product that would have provided for a more thorough scientific review. Syngenta’s own scientific data released last month shows if this corn is co-mingled with other corn, it will have significant adverse impacts on food product quality and performance.

“USDA has failed to provide the public with sufficient scientific data on the economic impacts of contamination on food production, or information on how USDA will ensure Syngenta’s compliance with a stewardship plan,” said Mary Waters, President of NAMA. Syngenta’s 3272 Amylase Corn Trait contains a powerful enzyme that breaks down the starch in corn rapidly, a cost saving function for ethanol production. If it should enter the food processing stream, the same function that benefits ethanol production will damage the quality of food products like breakfast cereals, snack foods, and battered products.

“NAMA has been a strong supporter for the development of food biotechnology as a tool that can improve product quality and increase domestic production to meet growing domestic and world food demand,” she continued. “With proper analysis and oversight, the introduction of output traits can be beneficial to the entire food chain.”

NAMA is the trade association representing 43 companies that operate 170 wheat, oat and corn mills in 38 states and Canada. Their collective production capacity exceeds 160 million pounds of product each day, more than 95 percent of the total industry production.

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