CORN REFINERS OPPOSE DEREGULATION OF CORN AMYLASE BIOTECH TRAIT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2011

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) today reiterated its opposition to deregulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of the corn amylase biotech trait known as Event 3272.

“Our industry strongly supports biotechnology, especially its potential benefits for the farmers in the critical agricultural sector. However we do not support the release of this corn amylase trait without due diligence in reviewing the significant risk it could present to the nation’s food supply,” said Audrae Erickson, CRA president. “Event 3272 represents the first time that a biotechnology event will alter the function of corn, rendering it unusable for many uses.”

“The CRA has been holding collaborative discussions with the manufacturer of this trait, Syngenta, and hopes to launch joint research soon to determine the full extent of its impact on our industry’s ability to provide high quality ingredients to our food and industrial customers,” continued Erickson. “Absent that scientific information, deregulation by USDA is premature and potentially harmful.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced deregulation of Event 3272 corn amylase. This trait contains an alpha amylase enzyme in the kernel. Event 3272 is intended for use only in dry mill ethanol plants. This enzyme significantly alters the performance of corn starch potentially rendering it unfit for use in many food and industrial applications. Americans rely on high quality starches produced by the corn refining industry for over 90% of their starch needs, including use in many food and paper products, as well as personal and health care items.

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CRA is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry in the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil, and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber.

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