Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Chinese Officials Learn About U.S. Soybean Industry in Week-long Agriculture Tour

The maintenance manager at Continental Grain & Barge (CGB) in Utica, Illinois explains how storage is done at their soybean facility.

The maintenance manager at Continental Grain & Barge (CGB) in Utica, Illinois explains how storage is done at their soybean facility.

Last week, six officials from China’s Ministry of Agriculture arrived in America’s heartland to begin an in-depth exploration of the workings of the U.S. soybean industry. The officials represent China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Their weeklong tour was coordinated by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. soybean industry. It was designed to provide the Chinese officials with a first-hand overview of the U.S. system for soybean production, handling, marketing and quality control.

The tour included stops in Illinois, Missouri and Louisiana, where the team followed the path that soybeans take from the farm to the export terminal. In Yorkville, Ill., the Chinese officials got a farm-level view of how producers grow and harvest their crops and segregate the harvested commodities for marketing purposes. They also visited a Cargill elevator in Morris, Ill., to observe the grading of soybeans for possible export. The visit concluded at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the AQSIQ officials learned about U.S. Government policies regulating soybeans.

The operations manager at CGB describes the soybean marketing process to the AQSIQ team.

The operations manager at CGB describes the soybean marketing process to the AQSIQ team.

This visit is the first step in implementing a December 2010 memorandum of understanding (MOU) on soybeans signed by the United States and China. The MOU reinforces the two countries’ commitment to cooperate on food safety and quality as well as plant health issues. While in the United States, the Chinese officials and their U.S. counterparts discussed potential further steps for implementing the MOU, including a reciprocal visit to China by a U.S. Government team.

China is the United States’ top export customer for soybeans. In 2010, China imported nearly $11 billion of U.S. soybeans, representing more than 50 percent of all U.S. soybean exports.

One Response to “Chinese Officials Learn About U.S. Soybean Industry in Week-long Agriculture Tour”

  1. Dave Nelson says:

    I have heard a lot of bad things about genetically midified grains, etc. What is the USDA, FSIS opinion on GMO foods and how many different grains have been genetically modified?
    And what are the “ill effects” of eating GMO foods?
    D. Nelson, DVM

Leave a Reply