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Market concerns over StarLink

(Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- AgWeb: StarLink. The mere mention of it will make markets shudder. And it has reemerged into the news mix with discovery of a trace amount of the corn in a shipment of U.S. corn to Japan. Corn futures were pressured Friday by talk of the development.

But now the presence of StarLink has been confirmed and that has helped to pressure corn futures in the early going today.

The ship carrying the corn in question, the North King, was docked at the Nagoya harbor last Thursday and Japan's Agriculture Ministry said Friday that trace amounts of StarLink had been detected.

U.S. officials have said that the fact the corn was discovered prior to unloading means that protections put in place are working.

The fact that StarLink has returned as an issue has taken some by surprise, and has prompted speculation that U.S. corn exports to Japan may again be imperiled as they were when the StarLink story first broke some two years ago.

However, most contacts indicate this is likely an isolated incident and may not have a long-lasting impact except that there may be some increased testing undertaken in the nearterm.