TOKYO (AP) _ Agricultural officials from the United States and Japan agreed to test American corn-feed exports for presence of a genetically altered corn banned in Japan, the U.S. embassy said Monday.

The pact follows an agreement last month between the two countries to test food for the biotech corn, StarLink.

U.S. corn shipments to this country have declined after reports in October by a Japanese consumer group that StarLink was found in snacks and animal feed here.

StarLink is approved for animal but not human consumption in the United States because of questions about possible allergic reactions.

Japan, by far the biggest U.S. customer for corn, does not allow imports of StarLink.

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture will dispatch inspectors to the United States to monitor tests of corn feed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture before it is shipped, the embassy said.

They will discuss in the coming months how frequently Japan will send the inspectors, said Hiroyuki Kokubun, an official at the Agriculture Ministry's feed distribution bureau.