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7-Business: Brazil hands China GMO soy draft to clear trade

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                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Brazil hands China GMO soy draft to clear trade
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   Jan 16, 2003

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Brazil hands China GMO soy draft to clear trade

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazil this week delivered a revised draft 
certificate to China about Brazilian soybeans and genetically modified 
organisms (GMOs), which Brazilian officials say will clear the way for 

The certificate, delivered by Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues to 
China's ambassador to Brazil, says that if Brazil soybean shipments 
contained GMOs they would be resistant to Monsanto's Roundup Ready 
herbicide and not pose a safety risk.

"The new draft contains some small revisions requested by the Chinese and 
we think they will approve it very rapidly," Odilson Ribeiro, Director of 
Crop Safety, told Reuters.

Although Brazil bans the commercial production of GMO soybeans, a large 
part of the crop in the southern part of the country is sown with 
genetically modified seeds smuggled across the border from Argentina where 
GM crops are allowed.

China already imports GMO soybeans from the United States and Argentina.

But it has not authorized imports from Brazil this year.

Markets have been buzzing with speculation that China, the world's No. 1 
soybean importer, would block shipments from Brazil, its main supplier.

Brazil shipped 4.1 million tonnes of soybeans to China in the first 11 
months of 2002 and hopes to ship 5 million tonnes this year. China is 
expected to import a record 14.5 million tonnes of soybeans in 2002/03.

Brazil expects to produce a record soybean crop of 47 million tonnes in 

A 14-member team of Chinese officials is this week visiting Brazilian 
soybean farms and research stations to study its production technology.

                                  PART II
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TITLE:  Chinese soy team visits Brazil amid GMO tiff
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   Jan 15, 2003

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Chinese soy team visits Brazil amid GMO tiff 

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Against the backdrop of a dispute over genetically 
modified crops, a group of Chinese officials are visiting Brazilian soy 

The 14-member team of Chinese officials will go to Brazilian soy farms, 
cooperatives and research centers until Jan 22 to examine production 
methods, Brazilian agriculture officials said Monday.

The visit comes amid world market concern about a stand-off between the two 
countries over genetically modified organisms and certification of 
Brazilian soybean exports to China.

Although the commercial production of GMO soybeans is banned in Brazil, an 
increasing part of the crop, especially in the south, is genetically 

"The object is for the Chinese to study and discuss how soybeans are 
produced in Brazil," said an agriculture ministry spokeswoman, adding that 
the visit was arranged a long time ago.

Brazil, the world's No. 2 soy exporter after the United States, ships 3.5 
million tonnes of soybeans annually to China, the world's largest soybean 

Officials said that the Chinese visit showed China's continued interest in 
buying Brazilian soybeans, despite current concern over GMO material.

The Chinese group will visit Brazil's federal agriculture and livestock 
research center Embrapa in Brasilia; soy farms in Mato Grosso and Parana, 
respectively the No. 1 and No. 2 soy producing states; and the country's 
largest grains cooperative Coamo in northern Parana.

"The Chinese came to study our production methods, but are likely to raise 
the GMO issue," said an Embrapa spokesman.

The spokesman added that there were no plans for the Chinese to visit Rio 
Grande do Sul, Brazil's No. 3 soy state, where an increasing amount of GM 
soybeans are illegally grown.


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