UPDATE 1-Brazil says China clears new GMO soy varieties for import

Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:52am EDT

Related Topics

* Approval ends anxious wait for Brazil
    * New varieties fend off caterpillars, other threats
    * Monsanto shares up 4.8 percent early on Monday


    BRASILIA, June 10 (Reuters) - China has authorized three new
varieties of genetically-modified soy from world No. 2 grower
Brazil, including Monsanto Co's Intacta RR2, the South
American country's agriculture ministry said on Monday, an
endorsement critical to avoid trade disruption with Brazil's top
soy customer.
    China's Agriculture Minister Han Changfu informed his
Brazilian counterpart, Antonio Andrade, of the decision in
person during a meeting in Beijing in which securing approval of
the new seeds was top of Brazil's agenda.
    "This decision was anxiously awaited by Brazilian soy
producers, given that the (seed) companies have only a few weeks
to package and distribute the product in time for the seeding of
the next harvest," Andrade said.
    The new GMO variety that Monsanto is ready to market in
Brazil is designed to help fight outbreaks of Helicoverpa
caterpillars that local producers have been struggling to
control. 
    Monsanto shares on the New York Stock Exchange were trading
4.8 percent higher on Monday.
    The ministry said the Chinese government also approved the
GMO soy varieties of CV127 and Bayer's Liberty Link.
China has been hosting a China-Latin America and Caribbean
summit of agriculture ministers.
    Brazilian agriculture officials traveled to China in August
last year to seek approval for new seed varieties and again last
month when China's delays in approving the seed unnerved Brazil
ahead of the planting period approaching. 
    Soy is Brazil's single-biggest agricultural product by
value. The country exported 5.6 million tonnes or $3 billion
dollars worth of the protein-rich seed to China in April alone,
accounting for about 78 percent of that months' soy exports.
    Soy is used mainly in livestock feed as a source of protein,
as well as for human consumption.
    Brazilian soy planting over the past season has pulled
neck-and-neck with the United States, currently the world's top
producer. But Brazil has been dogged by problems in transport
infrastructure, which has not kept pace with growth in the
country's farm output.
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