Chinese officials Wednesday rejected more than 120 tonnes of U.S. corn on concerns that the shipments contained a genetically modified trait not yet approved in the country, China's Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Administration said.
According to Reuters, the shipments, totaling 120,642 tonnes, are largest amount of grain to ever be turned away from China's ports.
The inspection agency said the trait in question is MIR162, and asked that the U.S. inform corn exporters in order to strengthen pre-export checks and ensure compliance with Chinese standards.
The trait is known domestically as Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera. It has been available in the U.S. since 2011.
The trait caused a stir in the beginning in July 2011, because several grain shippers were not accepting corn shipments with the trait due to regulatory barriers in importing countries, the National Corn Growers Association said.
China was originally scheduled to approve the trait last year, however Syngenta spokesman Paul Minehart told Reuters that the company is still waiting on the country to act.
Read more: Unapproved GMO strain puts more US corn cargoes to China at risk