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StarLink corn 'slipped' through despite tests

(Friday, Jan. 3, 2002 -- CropChoice news) --Reuters: CHICAGO - Cenex Harvest States said Thursday that the unapproved StarLink biotech corn that showed up in Japan last week slipped through a series of tests and that it had no idea where the supplies had originated.

The company also said the cargo was now stuck in Nagoya harbor in Japan pending a decision from the buyer, grain trading firm Mitsui, and Japanese authorities.

CHS spokeswoman Lani Jordan said trace amounts of StarLink corn, not approved for human consumption on concerns it might trigger allergies, were found in about 1,200 tonnes of the total cargo of 19,000 tonnes of corn on board a vessel, adding, "We were informed at the end of last week. We are waiting for a decision from the buyer, Mitsui."

She said one option for Mitsui would be to ship the cargo to a country that allows the use of StarLink as animal feed.

Japan disallows its use even as animal feed. The discovery set off fears that Japan, the top market for U.S. corn, would cut its corn imports from the United States.