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Concerns over biotech affecting Japanese demand for U.S. soybeans

(Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- Reflecting on his keynote speech to the American Soybean Association's fifth annual food soybean seminar in Tokyo, Japan in July, Soyatech president Peter Golbitz notes the recent decline in Japan for U.S. soybeans because of concern there about genetically modified organisms.

"In 2001, Japan was the third largest importer of soybeans from the United States and, according to the American Soybean Association (ASA), the largest single buyer of food-quality soybeans in the world, purchasing over 39.5 million bushels (25 million from the U.S.) in 2001. Recently, the demand for U.S. soybeans in Japan has been declining due to end-user concern about genetically modified (GMO) soybeans and possible consumer backlash over foods labeled as containing genetically modified ingredients. In light of the GMO issue, the fastest growing segment of the food-grade soybean market for Japan has been that of the varietal or identity preserved (IP) soybeans."

Source: Soyatech.com