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4-Patents: Argentina's Ag Sec to discuss Monsanto with US Ag Sec

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TITLE:  Argentina's Ag Sec To Discuss Monsanto With US Ag Sec
SOURCE: Dow Jones, USA, by Taos Turner
DATE:   11 Oct 2005

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Argentina's Ag Sec To Discuss Monsanto With US Ag Sec

BUENOS AIRES -(Dow Jones)- Argentine Agriculture Secretary Miguel Campos
will meet with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in early November
to talk about biotechnology giant Monsanto (MON) and its recent lawsuits
over Argentine soybean shipments to the E.U.

"The meeting will take place in the first few days of November," Campos
said Tuesday after giving a press conference here. "I'm waiting for him
(Johanns) to let me know when we can meet."

Campos said a number of unnamed U.S. agribusiness companies would
accompany him to Washington, D.C. as he tries to explain why he thinks
Monsanto, a St. Louis-based company, is wrong to claim the right to
collect royalties on Argentine soybean exports.

In June Monsanto begain filing lawsuits over the shipment of Argentine
soybean products to the E.U. Many E.U. nations recognize a patent that
Monsanto has on a popular kind of soybean seed that is used to plant 95%
of the soybeans in Argentina. The Argentine government has never granted
Monsanto a patent for the seeds, known as Roundup Ready.

Monsanto has a patent on the seeds in the U.S.

Monsanto says Argentine farmers properly pay to use the seeds less than
20% of the time.

Most often, the seeds are either bought illegally in a vast underground
seed market or simply replanted after each harvest. This latter practice
is illegal in the U.S. but not here.

Monsanto hopes the lawsuits will force the Argentine government to
implement a payment system that obligates farmers to pay royalties
whenever they plant Roundup Ready seeds.

The U.S. has a similar system.

Argentina exported some 10 million tons of soybeans, soyoil and soymeal
to E.U. countries in 2004, according to Agriculture Secretariat data.

If an E.U. court ruled in Monsanto's favor, it could roil trade between
Argentina and the E.U., and give Monsanto additional leverage in its
effort to collect royalties in Argentina.

Argentina is the world's third-ranked soybean producer and exporter.

It is also the world's leading exporter of soyoil and soymeal.

Campos has said he does not want the dispute with Monsanto to affect
trade with the U.S.

Campos has called the U.S. a traditional ally in the fight to get other
countries to accept the importation of genetically modified crops such as
Roundup Ready soybeans.


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