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Four boatloads scrutinized ...
Brazil Probes Argentine Corn Shipments

(7 June - Cropchoice News) -- Argentine corn exports to Brazil are coming under close scrutiny due to concerns about biotech contamination. Two boatloads in Rio Grande do Sul are currently held up awaiting results of GMO testing, while earlier this week a different pair of boats in Santa Catarina state were barred from unloading.

In Santa Catarina, Argentine shipments totalling 54,000 tons have been turned away. Quoted by Reuters, the Brazilian judge who heard arguments concluded "In this case there exists the difficulty of not being certain over the exact nature of the imported product...the introduction of genetically modified organisms in the environment and in foodstuffs is questioned the world over." The corn was being imported by Brazilian companies for use in poultry feed.

Yesterday, Brazilian papers reported another two Argentine corn shipments may also be rejected because of biotech contamination. Officials in the state of Rio Grande do Sul are testing Argentine corn from the boats Atticos and Wave before allowing it to enter the country. A decision on the Atticos' shipment of 22,000 tons is expected anytime. The boat arrived in port on the 31st. Testing results on the Wave shipment, also 22,000 tons, are expected Saturday.

The problem may result from a failure of segregation in Argentina. In contrast with its soybean crop, Argentina plants relatively little biotech corn. According to Reuters, only about 6% of this year's Argentine corn harvest was biotech.

SOURCE: Correio do Povo, Reuters