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Brazil press release

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The following information from Brazil is important in a European context
because much of the guaranteed GE-Free soya required by supermarkets in the
EU can only come from that country. Efforts to ensure that GE soy is planted
in Brazil will severely hamper attempts by food suppliers to secure
materials such as lecithin, vegetable fats and soya protein which are
guaranteed GE-free.

Best wishes, Quentin Gargan, Genetic Concern.


At a press conference in London last night the Secretary of Agriculture
to the Brazilian Government, Mr Turra, confirmed that approval of
Monsanto's GM soya had been suspended and that Brazil would remain
completely GM-Free for at least the next 12 months.

The implications of the recent court ruling by Federal Court Judge
Antonio Souza Prudente had not previously been made clear. The Judge
served court orders on The Ministers of Agriculture, Science &
Technology, Environment and of Health, on the 18th June `99, prohibiting
them from authorising the planting or marketing of GM crops until a full
Environmental Impact Study was undertaken.
The protracted legal and constitutional requirements of the
Environmental Impact Study mean that there is no chance of GM soya being
grown before Aug 2000, if it is approved at all. The Federal Court
decision was further reinforced last week (30 June `99) when the
Brazilian National Council of the Environment issued a statement
approving the court decision.
"This is good news for the Brazil and good news for European consumers
who want a consistent supply of guaranteed Non-GM and organic soya. Mr
Turra also confirmed to us that both the Federal government and each of
the state governments would strictly enforce this decision in order to
prevent any illegal planting of GM soya by farmers".
Background to visit;
During his visit to the UK Mr Turra has met with British Ministers and
attended the Royal Show in Worcester. The object of the visit was to
demonstrate the quality of Brazilian produce and to establish business
partnerships in the UK. Organic farmers co-operatives from Brazil had
accompanied the Minister during this trade visit. At the press
conference Mr Turra emphasised the availability of Non-GM soya, organic
soya and organic meat from Brazil.
The Court decision;
In a strongly worded opinion defending the principle of precaution,
Judge Prudente of the 6th Circuit Court of the Federal Justice syatem
"The questions raised by genetic engineering will not be resolved by the
laws of market alone, rather they will resolved by the rigorous respect
to the legislation which protect life, as established by our laws and

The court order determines that:
1 - The sued companies, Monsanto do Brazil Ltda. And Monsay Ltda. Must
submit an Environmental Impact Study prior to any approval of the
product, in the form determined by Art. 225, IV. of the Federal
Constitution, as a pre-requisite for commercial scale planting of
Roundup-Ready soy;
2 - The above-mentioned companies are prohibited from marketing
genetically modified soybean seeds until such time as the competent
public authorities issue technical regulations for biosafety and for
labelling of genetically modified organisms;
3 - All commercial-scale cultivation of this product is suspended, until
such time as the technical concerns expressed by renowned scientists
with regard the possible deficiencies in the analysis by the National
Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) of the administrative petition for
deregulation of the product, are duly clarified ;
4 - The sued companies must submit, within ten days, a certificate of
Quality in Biosafety - CQB, of Brazils laws on Biosafety (law 8974 of
1995 and Decree 1752 of 1995).
5 - The CTNBio must submit copies of the Curriculum Vitae of all of its
members for judicial verification of the qualifications required in the
Biosafety laws, as well as copies of all of the documentation in the
relevant administrative files;
6- Requires that the Ministers of Agriculture, Science and Technology,
Environment, and of Health by personally served with court orders that
they may not authorise the sued companies to engage in the planting or
marketing of these products until such time as these judicial
requirement are fully met, and suspending any such authorisations which
may have been issued to date;
7 -Establishes a fine of 10 minimum wages per day (US$80) if these
requirements are not met , to be paid by the infractors, be they public
or private;

The Brazilian government has also recently announced that they will
introduce European style labelling legislation for food sold within
Brazil. This decision has been seen as a further embarrassment to the
American Government who is denying their consumers the right to choose.
Despite growing campaigns for labelling within the US and despite
labelling legislation being introduced in the European Union and now in
Brazil the American Government is sticking to its line that labelling
would only confuse the public.

Further information; Tanya Green - Tel:0171 435 5000

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