08 May 2003 23:11 [Source: ICIS news]
SALVADOR, Brazil (CNI)--US agribusiness giant Monsanto said Thursday it intends to collect royalty payments on the use of its RoundUp Ready genetically modified (GM) soya seeds planted illegally in Brazil.
St Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto said the Brazilian government’s recent clarification of its position regarding GM soya was a major factor in its decision to start discussions with soya producers.
"These discussions are in the initial stages and are intended to protect all those involved in the commercialisation of Brazilian soya in the country and overseas," Monsanto said in a statement.
In March the Brazilian government decided to allow farmers to trade GM soya beans in the country this year. The government is introducing the measure to enable the disposal of the 2002-2003 crop of GM soya, which has been planted illegally, without causing losses to Brazilian farmers.
According to government statistics, a little more than 10% of the national soya bean harvest in 2002-2003 is genetically modified.
Monsanto, which has been seeking approval for its RoundUp Ready soya beans in Brazil for some time, stressed that it has never incentivised the illegal planting of GM soya in Brazil. The group has experimental Roundup Ready plantations in the country that have been authorised by Brazil's National Commission for Bio Safety, CTNBio.
The company said it "continues to hope that the ban on the commercial planting of GM crops in Brazil will shortly be resolved."
Monsanto said: "With this, the Brazilian farmer will be able to exercise its freedom of choice and the country will reap the benefits which biotechnology has been bringing to farmers and consumers of various countries which legally opted for the new technology."
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