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Brazil increases the control of GM soybeans to export more to China

(Aug. 14, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is a translation of a story from the Aug. 10 edition of Ambiente Brasil. The story is available at http://www.ambientebrasil.com.br/noticias/?action=ler&id=7649

The Brazilian government is working to guarantee that no genetically engineered (GE) soyabeans get unloaded in China together with conventional Brazilian soya.

Next week, the Ministry of Agriculture is to publish in the ‘Official Journal of the Union’ normative instructions prohibiting that non-GE Brazilian soya be shipped to China on vessels which are also carrying GE soya from other countries, according to Odilson Ribeiro, Director of the Plant Inspection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Odilson said that the measure was taken to prevent the ‘top off’ for the Chinese market – a practise used in the holds of ships, in which conventional soyabeans are added on top of GE soya from other countries during the transport of the product. According to the protocol agreed between the governments of Brazil and China, from 20 December 2002, the Chinese government will be increasingly strict regarding the controls preventing GE soya from entering the country.

Since the Chinese market requires non-GE soya, Brazilian exporters will - from December onwards - have to ship soyabeans without them getting mixed . “Brazilian soya loads will only be allowed to enter China if conventional soyabeans have been loaded seprately from GE beans”, said Ribeiro.

According to figures of the Ministry of Agriculture, Brazil currently exports 3.6 million tons of conventional soya to China each year. With the change of law, the government expects this volume to increase to 5 million tons yearly.