GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Clean soy shipment arrives...

First ship certified free of gene soya in Antwerp 

BRUSSELS, Dec 5 (Reuter) - The first ship carrying U.S. soybeans
guaranteed to be genetically unmodified arrived in the Belgian port of
Antwerp on Thursday, the Austrian environmental group Global 2000 said. 

The Steel Flower, carrying 8,500 tonnes of soybeans, will be followed by
two more similar shipments later this month of 18,000 and 25,000 tonnes,
it added. 

The Antwerp Port Authority confirmed the ship's arrival. 

"This proves that it is possible to keep production lines separate from
Monsanto's GMO (genetically modified) soybeans," Vienna-based Global
2000 said in a statement. 

Environmental groups have protested against an EU decision in March to
allow imports of Monsanto Co's <MTC.N> "Round-up Ready" soybeans,
genetically changed to resist herbicides. 

They have demanded that GMO soybeans be clearly labelled and separated
from traditional soybeans. 

The extra cost of separating the soybeans and providing a guarantee is
only around three percent, said Daniel Hausknost of Global 2000. 

"Processors are prepared to pay a premium," he told Reuters by telephone
from Antwerp, adding there was strong demand in countries such as
Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Sweden. 

U.S. officials and Monsanto have said that it was impractical to
separate the soybeans because of the huge tonnages involved and
unnecessary because the product was safe. 

--Peter Blackburn, Brussels newsroom +322 287 6830 

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