Argentina approves GMO varieties for corn and soybeans

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina, one of the world’s leading exporters of foodstuffs, approved on Tuesday the use of two corn GMO varieties belonging to Syngenta and the local unit of Dow Chemical, and one soy GMO variety belonging to Bayer SA.

The norm, detailed in three resolutions in the South American country’s official gazette, comes weeks after farmers reached a deal with GMO seed producers to pay royalties for the use of second-generation seeds generated through harvests, paving the way for more modern biotech to reach Argentina.

Previously, Argentina’s seed law allowed farmers to use second-generation seeds in perpetuity without paying royalties, which seed-producing companies fiercely opposed.

The Syngenta corn GMO variety is resistant to moths and ammonium glyphosphate and glufosate, while the Dow corn variety is resistant to certain herbicides. The Bayer soy variety is resistant to herbicides containing glyphosate, glufosate and isoxaflutole.

Argentina is the world’s No. 3 exporter of corn and raw soybeans, and the top shipper of soybean meal and soybean oil.

The resolutions are here:

Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Frances Kerry