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FACTBOX - StarLink tainted corn from 1999, 2000 crops
USA: March 20, 2001
WASHINGTON - Aventis SA estimated on Sunday that more than 430 million bushels of the U.S. corn supply was tainted with small amounts of its StarLink bio-corn.
The company provided the following detailed information to a meeting of U.S. grain millers about the StarLink contamination that was first discovered last September:
* Some 99 percent of the roughly 80 million bushels of StarLink corn grown in 2000 by more than 5,100 American farmers has been identified and routed to animal feed or ethanol production.
* Another 20 million bushels of commingled corn has been "identified and contained" with the help of 820 grain elevators. The corn came from farms adjacent to StarLink growers, where pollen may have been blown onto the fields by the wind, or from corn seed contaminated with StarLink's unique Cry9C protein.
* Some 94 million bushels of commingled corn found by grain elevators has already been routed to animal feed or ethanol production
* Another 343 million bushels of commingled corn in storage is believed to have come from the 1999 crop and "will be rerouted in the months to come" Aventis said.
* An estimated 1.7 million tests to detect StarLink's Cry9C protein have been conducted since last autumn by foodmakers, grain handlers, and the U.S. Agriculture Department.
* More than 28,000 trucks, 15,000 railcars and 285 barges have been found to contain contaminated corn during testing for StarLink residue.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE