China has rejected alfalfa hay from the United States due to genetically modified forage contamination. Hay exported from our southern neighbours is in quarantine after detection of GMO traits showed up.
Cross contamination from nearby fields growing Roundup Ready alfalfa, developed by Forage Genetics International for Monsanto Co., is the culprit. This genetically modified alfalfa hay was deregulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2011 and caused a lot of controversy. Many feared it would have a negative effect on the export of forage products from North America as the international marketplace does not want genetically modified hay.
All imports to China are supposed to be GMO-free. This could cause China to avoid purchasing US grown hay entirely as they are not interested in feeding their livestock RoundUp Ready. Fortunately, the Western Canadian production of GMO-free alfalfa hay is still safe and free of all RoundUp Ready traits. Customers from overseas can be confident that the GMO-free alfalfa hay from Canadian growers like Barr-Ag has no trace of genetic modifications or any traits that come with it.
A spokesperson from the USDA stated that the organization has been working with authorities and U.S. alfalfa growers to find out why imported hay is coming up with GM traits after being through China’s genetically engineered testing. They want to find out why this ‘certified’ forage came up positive for GM traits and come to an agreement.
“The current threshold of acceptance is 5% GMO by Chinese importers, but this could be tightened to 0.2%, and growers would be hard pressed to meet these standards with unintended cross-pollination along with the shady practices of GM companies who often grow ‘test’ fields of GM crops without regulatory approval.” – Natural Society article
China refused shipments of U.S. grown corn this past summer. The Chinese were concerned that the product contained a genetically modified strain call MIR 162. According to an article from Farm Futures the corn did indeed contain large traces MIR 162. The rejection of this corn cost at least $1 billion to the export economy.
It seems that China has no problem rejecting GM products from the United States. In fact, they even incinerated 3 massive shipments of GM produce from the United States. A passionate journalist shares his thoughts on China vs. Monsanto in this article.
Barr-Ag is proud to offer pure GMO-free alfalfa hay and other products that are far from potential contamination. Learn more about our Canadian grown alfalfa hay.