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3-Food: Brazil to re-export or burn US GM corn cargo



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TITLE:  Brazil to re-export or burn US GM corn cargo
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   Jan 20, 2003

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Brazil to re-export or burn US GM corn cargo

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said last week a
shipment of U.S. corn found to contain traces of banned genetically
modified organisms will have to be burned, re-exported or used for paper
production.

Odilson Ribeiro, Director at the ministry's plant safety department, said
the shipment of 7,400 tonnes of U.S. corn at the port of Itajai in Santa
Catarina state tested positive for trace amounts of genetically modified
material, which would preclude its use in animal or human foods or for
planting.

Tests run by the ministry turned up 0.25 percent GM material in the shipment.

The importer, National Starch Chemical Industrial, which produces corn
starch for industrial foods and for paper production, is contesting the
finding, telling the financial daily Valor that the U.S. corn is
certified as GM-Free.

A company representative was not available for comment and the paper did
not say for what purpose the corn was intended.

Jose Valerio, president of the firm, also told the paper that the level
of transgenic material in the corn was at most 0.1 percent, putting it
well within the legal 4 percent limit permitted by Brazil before the
product can be considered genetically altered.

Brazil bans any commercial or experimental use of genetically modified
food crops. The country's growing livestock industry has also been
struggling with a 1 million tonne corn shortage over the past few months.