News last update:6 Aug 2012

Argentina bypasses EU by tracking GM corn

Argentina will track corn grown from a recently approved transgenic bundled trait to avoid shipping that type of grain to the European Union. The trait has no EU approval.

"Providers or distributors can only sell corn seeds with the bundled genes to users who have made a sworn statement ... that the seeds are destined for domestic consumption," a government resolution stated.

A bundled trait combines two distinct transgenic characteristics into one seed variety. At the end of August, Monsanto Company's bundled MG and RR2 transgenic corn seed variety was approved for planting in the 2007-08 season.

First time approval
The approval marks the first time bundled genetic traits have been approved in Argentina. In February, the government simplified the approval process for bundled traits.

This allows applications for a transgenic crop combining two already approved genes without a full analysis of the new crop.

Earlier this year there were problems with the GA21 transgenic corn trait, which is not approved in the EU. At the end of May, the government prohibited growing the variety after Spain rejected a shipment of Argentine corn.

In July the ban on GA21 seeds was lifted following the implementation of a tracking system to prevent the corn from being shipped to the EU.

Farmers who use the GA21 seeds must make sworn statements that the corn will be used domestically or exported to regions where the trait is approved.

Growers must also notify storage facilities, exporters and processors of the presence of the trait before delivering the corn.

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