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Meeting the Tolerance: How Successful is Coexistence in Commodity Corn Handling Systems?

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 36(5): 777-784. (doi: 10.13031/aea.14042) @2020
Authors:   Chad J. Dolphin, Gretchen A. Mosher, R.P. Kingsly Ambrose, Saxon J. Ryan
Keywords:   Adventitious presence, Coexistence, Identity preservation, Monte Carlo simulation, Transgenic grain.


Meeting the 0.9% tolerance level was challenging under most conditions.

Non-GM loads in the simulation were able to meet a 1.5% or 3% tolerance level under specific conditions.

Field isolation distance plays a large role in a non-GM load meeting the posted tolerance level

Abstract. The open-air growth environment used in maize production makes it nearly impossible to ensure 100% purity of specified genetic traits. One measure of successful coexistence is a low level of unintended material in seed, grain, and feed or food products, termed “adventitious presence” (AP). To allow the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-genetically modified (non-GM) maize, tolerance levels regulate how much AP of genetically modified corn is allowed in each unit of maize. This research sought to model four factors contributing to levels of adventitious presence: seed purity, field isolation distance, combine cleanout, and grain elevator receipt and handling practices. Monte Carlo simulation was used to test nine scenarios to determine the feasibility of successfully meeting three tolerance levels for adventitious presence (0.9%, 1.5%, and 3.0%). After 50,000 iterations for each model, sensitivity analysis was performed to identify factors that play an important role in whether the load meets the posted tolerance level or not. Results suggest that non-GM maize loads would not meet a tolerance level of 0.9% in most cases. Non-GM maize loads were found to meet tolerance levels of 1.5% and 3.0% in certain cases. The most significant factors affecting the probability of the unit of maize meeting the posted tolerance level were field isolation distance, elevator handling practices, and seed purity.

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