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CONTAMINATION: China finds suspected GMO soy in state reserve buys






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TITLE:  CHINA FINDS SUSPECTED GMO SOY IN STATE RESERVE BUYS

SOURCE: Reuters, UK

AUTHOR: Niu Shuping & Coco Li

URL:    http://www.reuters.com/article/naturalResources/idUSPEK2200520081209

DATE:   09.12.2008

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CHINA FINDS SUSPECTED GMO SOY IN STATE RESERVE BUYS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China?s Heilongjiang province, the largest soy area, has found suspected genetically-modified soybeans (GMO) amid state reserve stocks, provincial authorities said, as sellers take advantage of higher prices.

Beijing agreed to buy 2 million tonnes of local non-GMO soy from farmers in the northeast province as part of plans to shore up domestic prices and help farmers cover higher input costs.

But some traders have taken advantage of the higher prices offered, delivering cheap imported soybean to some state warehouses in the province, local grain and quarantine bureaux said.

?Some suspected imported genetically-modified soybean were found in parts of the province,? they said in a joint statement posted on the grain bureau?s Website (www.hljlsj.gov.cn). It did not elaborate.

Local authorities have to check carefully beans that are ?small in size with thin skin and black navel,? it said.

Local buyers of GMO soybeans, which have import licences, have to inform the local quarantine bureau about their cargoes, it said.

It is unclear how much GMO soybean has been imported into the province, an inland area neighbouring Russia, but a local crusher, the first known importer of the product, told Reuters that it had not shipped its cargo to the province. The cargo of 60,000 tonnes of GMO soybean has only arrived at Dalian port.

Beijing has offered farmers 3,700 yuan ($538) per tonne for the soy it purchases, about 27 percent higher than U.S soy.

That has prompted farmers to demand the same price from local crushers, which has led some crushers to turn to imports.

($1=6.877 Yuan)

(Reporting by Niu Shuping, Coco Li, Editing by Jacqueline Wong)


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