Although the Environmental Protection Agency and USDA have both stated the safety of Syngenta's Bt10 biotech corn event, Japan wants assurances from the Food and Drug Administration of Bt10's safety in food and grain, according to National Corn Growers Association Executive Director Rick Tolman.
The FDA does not have oversight in the case.
Reuters reports that Japan is also exploring whether to incorporate a diagnostic test to determine if the grain is in corn shipments, similar to what the European Union Commission did earlier this week. "Syngenta has delivered tests to Japan and they are currently looking at the tests to verify them and make sure that it is what they want to do," Tolman told Reuters.
Tolman and other members of the U.S. Agriculture Department's trade advisory committee met with USDA Secretary Mike Johanns and other government officials to discuss the Bt10 corn incident and other trade issues.
In related news, the head of Syngenta Seeds Michael Mack says so far 20 vessels have been tested with the new diagnostic test, with all results coming back negative.
Mack assured that the incident is unlikely to "set back the slow but forward-moving process of GMO acceptance in Europe."