FDA Withdraws StarLink Testing Guidance

Voluntary testing for Cry9C is no longer needed.

Friday's Federal Register published an announcement from the Food and Drug Administration withdrawing the recommendation that corn dry millers test all inbound corn for Cry9C protein associated with StarLink corn hybrids.

The guidance from FDA has been in effect since January 2001 following concerns about the hybrid being found in the human food supply in 2000. The Environmental Protection Agency says there is no longer any need for testing corn for the StarLink protein. StarLink was approved for animal feed, but not for human consumption.

"We applaud FDA's decision," says Ken Hobbie, U.S. Grains Council president and CEO. "We hope our international customers use sound science to eliminate StarLink testing and documentation requirements."

One already has. South Korea has made the announcement that they have removed the requirement for documentation of StarLink-free on U.S. corn imports for food uses. According to USGC director Byong Ryol Min, South Korea has required the documentation since the discovery of StarLink corn in a shipment in 2000.

"This decision serves as scientific evidence supporting the USDA's Food and Drug Administration's conclusion that the risk to the human food supply has been sufficiently removed," Min says.

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