Monday afternoon I received a news release from Syngenta that the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture approved Syngenta's Agrisure Duracade corn rootworm event for feed and food use. This trait known as Event 5307 is inserted into the seed. When the seed germinates it is protected from corn rootworm feeding the entire growing season. Corn rootworms cost farmers more than $1 billion annually due to yield losses and treatment costs. A USDA study showed Duracade reduced adult beetle emergence by 99.7 percent, so it is very effective.

It was more than one year ago that China rejected corn shipments from the United States because the unapproved Duracade event was detected. Corn prices dropped and a number of lawsuits were filed against Syngenta. At this time it was also announced that a Chinese company was purchasing Syngenta for billions of dollars. It was just announced last week that regulators approved the sale of Syngenta to the company from China.

Maybe I am getting cynical as I get older, but you have to wonder about the timing of these events. China rejects corn with the Duracade Event that causes turmoil in the Syngenta company. Then a Chinese company buys Syngenta. When regulators approve the sale of Syngenta then the Duracade Event is approved by China. Syngenta is a major player in the seed and crop protection industry in the United States although it is based in Switzerland.