BUENOS AIRES, June 8 Argentina's agriculture
minister said on Saturday that China has approved three new
strains of genetically modified soybeans and one new variety of
GM corn for import, which should boost trade between the two
Argentina's Norberto Yauhar made the announcement after
meeting with his Chinese counterpart Agriculture Minister Han
Changfu in Beijing, according to a statement published on
Argentina's presidential website.
The South American country is the world's No. 3 exporter of
soybeans and corn and the top supplier of soyoil and soymeal.
Nearly all Argentine soy is genetically modified, as is much of
Neighboring farming giant Brazil has also been lobbying
China to approve more GM soy and corn.
"This is among the most important news we've had in recent
times for foreign trade," Yauhar was quoted as saying. "The
Chinese minister just confirmed the approval of all the strains
of corn and soybeans that were pending, including Monsanto's
Monsanto Co wants to launch its new bioengineered,
worm-resistant soybean seed called Intacta RR2 Pro for planting
in Brazil next season, and the company said earlier this year
that Chinese approval would be crucial.
Yauhar said China also approved a soybean seed resistant to
imidazolinone herbicides, another strain resistant to
glufosinate herbicides, and GM corn seeds known as 1161.
Monsanto sees South America and Eastern Europe as key growth
areas now. The company has stopped pushing for the expansion of
GM crops in Western Europe because many skeptical consumers and
environmental groups there question their safety.