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County-by-County Estimates Available
Starlink-Related Recalls Pick Up - Read All About It

(16 October - Cropchoice News) -- Over the weekend three new recalls were announced in the ongoing controversy over the contamination of food products with Starlink corn. You probably can't help but have heard about it on the radio or television news: Mission Foods, Safeway, and others are pulling yellow corn products off the shelves.

This still may not be the end of the recalls. Most reportedly stem from Starlink that contaminated Azteca Milling's operation in Plainview, Texas. The contamination was first publically reported on September 18th and is resulting in a massive move to non-GMO white corn by tortilla makers.

[USDA, which is buying Starlink from producers to keep it out of foods (to the tune of $100 million), hasn't put numbers on its buyout progress. Some producers who mixed Starlink in bins with other varieties may have trouble selling - even to the USDA buyout. More reports from Cropchoice in this issue soon.]

Here are some links on the latest series of recalls that are of interest:

Azteca Milling, the company at the eye of the storm, has announced a product recall and that a new policy of "total replacement" of its yellow corn products with white corn. Azteca, a joint venture between Archers Daniel Midland and Mexican company Gruma, says that it is in comsumer's best interests to switch to white corn only. You can see Azteca's latest recall notice and press releases online at www.aztecamilling.com.

Texas-based Mission Foods, the world's largest maker of tortillas and chips, has announced a recall of all its yellow corn products. Mission suggests its products were tainted by corn from the Azteca mill in Plainview. Since Mission also manufactures tortilla products for supermarket chains and private labels, its recall will extend to many products without the Mission Foods label. You can see Mission Foods press release and information at www.missionfoods.com.

Safeway, the grocery store chain, has recalled its own-brand taco shells and tortilla products after they too were reported to be contaminated. The recall effects over 1500 grocery stores nationwide, including Safeway, Randall's, Tom Thumb, Vons, Pac'n'Save, Pavillion, and Carrs stores.

Aventis, the maker of Starlink (sold through Garst Seeds), has agreed to a government request to formally withdraw Starlink from the US market. The company had previously issued a "stop sale" order; but now it's official, Starlink cannot be planted for any agricultural purpose. Aventis has posted nationwide year 2000 planting estimates by county on its website. Visit the estimates online at http://www.us.cropscience.aventis.com/AventisUS/CropScience/stage/html/Starlinkgrower.htm.

SOURCE: Aventis, Safeway, Azteca Milling