China Said to Discuss Changes to U.S. Grain Import Inspections

Chinese regulators discussed changing inspection requirements for shipments of U.S. corn byproducts, according to four people with direct knowledge.

Imports of dried distillers grains currently require government certification that they don’t contain MIR 162, a genetically modified corn variety. Regulators discussed widening the inspection regime to third parties in a meeting with industry officials in Beijing last week, the four people said, declining to be identified because the talks were private.

China is the largest buyer of DDGS, which is used in animal feed and produced when corn is stripped of starch for ethanol production. The country began rejecting shipments of corn and derived products containing MIR 162 in November.

Chinese officials discussed inspections using a polymerase chain reaction method, the people said. That process involves replicating a small sample of genetic material to test for the presence of specific genes. Shipments would still be subject to further inspection in China, according to the people. There was no final agreement and further meetings have yet to be scheduled, they said.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision’s office in Beijing didn’t respond to a request for comment sent by fax. Bryan Lohmar, the director of the U.S. Grains Council in China, declined to comment. Sally Klusaritz, a Washington-based spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside normal business hours.

— With assistance by William Bi

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.