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PATENTS & BUSINESS: Brazilian soybean farmers oppose contract with Monsanto to end royalties’ dispute





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TITLE:   BRAZILIAN SOYBEAN FARMERS OPPOSE CONTRACT WITH MONSANTO TO END ROYALTIES? DISPUTE

SOURCE:  MercoPress, Uruguay

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://en.mercopress.com/2013/02/21/brazilian-soybean-farmers-oppose-contract-with-monsanto-to-end-royalties-dispute

DATE:    21.02.2013

SUMMARY: "Brazilian farmer groups are opposing a contract that Monsanto the world?s biggest seed company is offering farmers to end a dispute over royalty payments on its genetically modified soybean seeds. Monsanto is trying to resolve uncertainty over its ability to collect fees on its new Intacta soybeans, which it is scheduled to start selling in Brazil during the next growing season. [...] ?We reject the individual contracts offered by Monsanto,? Katia Abreu, the head of CNA, said in an e-mailed statement. ?We expect Monsanto to take back the contracts that are already signed and present a new document.? ?We are working to understand CNA?s concerns,? Kelli Powers, a Monsanto spokeswoman, said by phone."

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BRAZILIAN SOYBEAN FARMERS OPPOSE CONTRACT WITH MONSANTO TO END ROYALTIES? DISPUTE

Brazilian farmer groups are opposing a contract that Monsanto the world?s biggest seed company is offering farmers to end a dispute over royalty payments on its genetically modified soybean seeds. Monsanto is trying to resolve uncertainty over its ability to collect fees on its new Intacta soybeans, which it is scheduled to start selling in Brazil during the next growing season.

The contract would waive royalties on Roundup Ready soy, an older technology, this year and next. In return, farmers would forgo claims in a patent dispute and pay royalties on seeds not yet on the market. The future payments are opposed by the Brazilian National Agriculture Federation, a group of farming associations also known as CNA.

?We reject the individual contracts offered by Monsanto,? Katia Abreu, the head of CNA, said in an e-mailed statement. ?We expect Monsanto to take back the contracts that are already signed and present a new document.?

?We are working to understand CNA?s concerns,? Kelli Powers, a Monsanto spokeswoman, said by phone.

The Parana State Federation of Agriculture, known as FAEP, also said it opposed the agreement. Glauber Silveira, head of Brazil?s soybean growers association, said farmers shouldn?t sign and should continue pursuing royalty claims in court.

?We believe producers are being tricked into signing a contract that will get them trapped to Monsanto for every new technology,? Silveira said from Cuiaba, state of Mato Grosso.

Growers who sign the contract won?t pay a technology fee in the current and subsequent growing seasons on soybean seeds that are genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate herbicide, Monsanto said in a statement last month. The herbicide is marketed by Monsanto as Roundup. Farmers who sign will waive the right to try recouping royalties previously paid.

The agreement would resolve claims by growers that the patent on the original Roundup Ready soybeans expired in 2010, ending their obligation to pay Monsanto royalties on the seeds. Monsanto argues that Brazilian law extends the patent to late 2014.

The company?s Intacta seeds are engineered to produce an insecticide while also tolerating Roundup.

However it won?t be an easy battle since Katia Abreu is Senator for the state of Tocantins, and as president of CAN, Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil, she rules over an entity the brings together 27 state Federations, 2.142 farm unions and more than one million producers.

The first woman in the leadership of Brazilian agro-business, a sector that represents 24% of GDP, employees 37% of the work force and generates 36% of exports, Kátia Abreu believes in transforming rural Brazil and guaranteeing security of income to Brazilian producers.