Argentina bypasses EU by tracking GM corn

26-09-2007 | |

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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