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Asia wants non-transgenic soybeans

(Sept 5, 2001 – CropChoice news) – Commodities traders in Asia, possibly reacting to lingering worries over the StarLink corn issue, a recent Belgian report of gene fragments in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans, or China’s new regulations on transgenic food, want non-transgenic soybeans. And they’re willing to pay a premium for them. Even some inside the U.S. soybean industry have taken notice.

Even Corwin Fee, vice president and chairman of the American Soybean Association’s international marketing committee, is growing non-transgenic soybeans to take advantage of Asia’s demand for non-transgenic soybeans.

Fee told Reuters: ``I as a farmer last year grew all Round Up Ready soybeans. This year, I have cut down on that. Probably it will be the lowest amount of Round Up Ready beans I will be growing in several years. It is mainly profit- oriented. In previous years, customers did not understand that it costs more to get these products (non-GMO beans). They have finally come to realize that."

The farm price of non-transgenic beans was 30-35 cents a bushel, about 8-9 percent higher than their genetically modified counterparts.

And sources of non-transgenic varieties do exist. Suppliers in Brazil and the United States could supply on the order of 4 million tons of conventional beans. Japanese soy growers and traders who are based in the United States are already shipping non-GM soy to the Japanese market. ADM , Bunge, Cargill, and AG Processing are the largest volume soy crushers and exporters in the world, and all of them are already shipping non-transgenic varieties.