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[genet-news] BUSINESS & REGULATION: Market disruption in Turkey could mean loss for U.S. GE soy



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:   MARKET DISRUPTION COULD MEAN LOSS FOR U.S. SOY

SOURCE:  United Soybean Board, USA

AUTHOR:  Newsletter Fall 2010

URL:     http://www.unitedsoybean.org/programs/global_opportunities/E-Newsletter/fall_2010.aspx

DATE:    01.10.2010

SUMMARY: "The Bosphorus Strait in Turkey separates Europe from Asia. Due to anti-biotech regulations, U.S. soy shipments to Turkey were disrupted. New biotech regulations in Turkey represent just one of several global market access impediments to U.S. soy."

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MARKET DISRUPTION COULD MEAN LOSS FOR U.S. SOY

The Bosphorus Strait in Turkey separates Europe from Asia. Due to anti-biotech regulations, U.S. soy shipments to Turkey were disrupted. New biotech regulations in Turkey represent just one of several global market access impediments to U.S. soy.

Turkey recently put regulations in place related to a new law that restricts imports of biotech crops. It impacts U.S. soy exports to Turkey, since most soybean farmers in the United States plant biotech-enhanced seed. As Turkey attempts to implement the new law, Turkey?s Ministry of Agriculture informed the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Foreign Agricultural Service that current biotech approvals would not automatically carry over to meet provisions of the new law. The ministry has indicated that companies who sell biotech soybean seed will need to resubmit paperwork for a review by a new Turkish Biosafety Board that will examine it under requirements specified in the new law. Getting new approvals could take months, thus disrupting U.S. soy exports to Turkey.  Violations could result in prison terms.

The United Soybean Board dispatched USB Director, Laura Foell, a soybean farmer from Schaller, Iowa to Turkey in order to share her experiences using seed improved through the use of biotech with Turkish agriculture leaders. ?Farmers are farmers throughout the world and what I try to say to them is we do what is best for the land and the environment in order to feed a growing population,? says Foell, who serves as a farmer-director on the USB Global Opportunities Committee and Biotechnology Initiative Leadership Team.

The situation in Turkey serves as an example of the types of serious market-access challenges U.S. soybean farmers and the rest of the U.S. soy industry face around the globe.

?We hope Turkish leaders look at the science and benefits to help them make the decisions best for their country,? says Foell.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:   TURKEY ACCESS

SOURCE:  United Soybean Board, USA

AUTHOR:  Global Opportunities Briefing

URL:     http://unitedsoybean.com/programs/global_opportunities/Briefings/turkey_access.aspx

DATE:    01.05.2010

SUMMARY: "As it attempts to implement the new law, Turkey?s Ministry of Agriculture informed the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Foreign Agricultural Service that current biotech approvals would not be automatically recognized. The ministry has indicated that companies who sell biotech soybean seed will need to resubmit paperwork for a review by a new Turkish Biosafety Board that will examine it under requirements specified in the new law. "

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TURKEY ACCESS

A backgrounder on global challenges and opportunities for U.S. soy

Produced by the United Soybean Board (USB)/Soybean Checkoff Global Opportunities (GO) program

The Issue

U.S. soy exports to Turkey, the 8th largest market abroad for U.S. soy, could end due to full implementation of a new law in that country related to biotechnology.

Why it Matters

The market access disruption could mean the loss of a market for U.S. soy valued by the U.S. Soybean Export Council at $370 million.

Issue Summary

A year ago, Turkey adopted a new law governing import of crops improved through the use of biotechnology. It impacts U.S. soy exports to Turkey, since most U.S. soybean farmers seed most soybean acreage in the United States using biotech-enhanced seed. As it attempts to implement the new law, Turkey?s Ministry of Agriculture informed the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Foreign Agricultural Service that current biotech approvals would not be automatically recognized (i.e., not ?grandfathered in?). The ministry has indicated that companies who sell biotech soybean seed will need to resubmit paperwork for a review by a new Turkish Biosafety Board that will examine it under requirements specified in the new law.  However, that Biosafety Board will not even be formed until at least one month after the current import approvals expire. Getting new approvals could take months, thus disrupting U.S. soy exports to Turkey. 

Critical Facts

Most U.S. soybean shipments currently contain three biotech genetic events. U.S. soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil from soybeans grown using biotech seed could be banned from Turkey as soon as the end of September. The new law in Turkey also requires labels on food that contain soy from biotech-enhanced soybeans. This could reduce the use of U.S. soy used in food products sold in Turkey. Turkey?s Ministry of Agriculture has encouraged biotechnology seed providers to submit paperwork as soon as possible to the Biosafety Board and has said that it will expedite the new review and approval process.

Biotech seed providers have expressed concern about the uncertainty of how the new Turkish Biosafety Board will operate and carry out the new review and approval process. Stringent penalties apply to anyone found to infringe the new Turkish law, even unknowingly. For example, Article 15 of Turkey?s biosafety law says: ?Those who import, produce and release genetically modified plants or animals into the environment, contrary to the rule of this law, are punished with prison terms of 5-12 years?? and heavy monetary fines.

The wording of the new Turkish biosafety law does not include any flexibility for accepting current import approvals for biotech crops that Turkey had in place

The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture has said importers could apply after September 26 for approval of specific shipments with biotech crops for specific use such as animal feed if they could reference authorizations for the biotech events from other entities such as the European Food Safety Authority. A lot of uncertainty exists about this process, and it remains to be seen if these requests will be granted.

According to industry sources in Turkey, about three months? worth of soybeans & meal exist in storage. The food and feed industries express concern that non-biotech soy will not be available. The food industry worries imported food products might be tested and found to have non-biotech ingredients, thus violating the new law.

Issue Conclusion

The situation in Turkey serves as an example of the types of serious market-access challenges U.S. soybean farmers and the rest of the U.S. soy industry face around the globe.





                                  PART 3

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TITLE:   TOMATO MOTH MAY LEAD TO DREADED GMO

SOURCE:  Hürriyet, Turkey

AUTHOR:  Anatolia News Agency, Turkey

URL:     http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=tuta-absoluta-may-lead-to-way-for-dreaded-gmo-2010-10-29

DATE:    31.10.2010

SUMMARY: "Due to the widespread infection of tomato plants by the tuta absoluta, or tomato moth, genetically modified organisms, or GMO, products could be legalized within one or two years, according to a hothouse owner in the Aegean province of Aydın. [...] He also said that these companies could even use political pressure against the ban of GMO products, taking advantage of the economic loss stemming from the pest infection. ?I am definitely sure that this is going to happen,? he said."

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TOMATO MOTH MAY LEAD TO DREADED GMO

Due to the widespread infection of tomato plants by the tuta absoluta, or tomato moth, genetically modified organisms, or GMO, products could be legalized within one or two years, according to a hothouse owner in the Aegean province of Aydın.

Sel Group Hothouses production manager Mustafa Külcü said that a bacterium called bacillus thuringiensis was used as a protective agent against the tomato moth. He said this bacteria was transmitted in the DNA of some tomato strains. ?The firms will come and say, ?When we transmit this gene in the DNA we will be able to get rid of the moth.? Or they will come up with other genetically modified tomato strains and manipulate the farmers. Since many farmers had to bear a loss this year due to the infection, they will be vulnerable to this manipulation.?

He also said that these companies could even use political pressure against the ban of GMO products, taking advantage of the economic loss stemming from the pest infection. ?I am definitely sure that this is going to happen,? he said.

Tomato cultivation areas may shrink further

Külcü said that after the moth infected tomatoes, cultivation areas shrank considerably. As a result there was a gap between the launch of the first hothouse yields and the of the last field yields, which directly affected the price of tomatoes.

?As we gathered, in the Antalya hothouses there is a 30- 40 percent decrease of tomato cultivation areas. After the hothouse yield comes to the market the price of the fruit will fall to a certain extent, but I do not predict a drastic fall until January or February.?

He said that all the signs showed that it was high time that Turkey shifted to professional hothouse cultivation, which has been actualized semi-professionally so far.

He also said that there were other pests affecting tomatoes in addition to the tomato moth. ?When all these come together the cultivation costs increase too much, because even biological pest control costs as much as chemical control. These costs cause the tomato cost per kilogram to climb to extreme levels. And the fruit ceases to be a cheap commodity.?

He added that this was a truth consumers must learn to live with. ?When the peasants start tomato cultivation, they first will fail in their pest control against the tomato moth. Therefore, they will bear a loss. Then they will totally give up because they have continually borne a loss.? He said that this meant the constantly shrinking cultivation areas for tomatoes were doomed to shrink further.




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