Argentine farmers have agreed to pay perpetual royalties when they replant genetically modified seeds made by companies like Monsanto Co, a deal that could allow farmers access to the newest biotechnology.
Argentina authorized the use of genetically modified soybean seeds resistant to herbicides other than glyphosate, as the European Union (EU) debates whether to extend the license of weed-killers containing the ingredient.
European Union countries failed this week to vote on a license extension for weed-killer glyphosate, delaying again a decision on the widely used herbicide that critics say could cause cancer. The EU said in a statement the relevant committee did not hold a vote at a meeting and that it would announce the date of the next meeting shortly.
After weeks of crossed accusations, Argentina reached a preliminary deal with Monsanto, reportedly agreeing to cancel its controls on soybean shipments. Under the accord the Argentine government will be the one to carry out the inspections, as part of a proper framework for agriculture firms to be paid for royalties.
Monsanto Co., eager to get royalties from growers in Argentina on genetically modified soybeans, said on Wednesday it was still trying to resolve a dispute with the government over inspections, while an agricultural ministry source said a deal may be reached in the coming days.
Hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated in nearly 50 countries around the globe to protest against the US mega producer company of genetically engineered (GE) seeds Monsanto, saying the corporation’s modified food and chemical herbicides pose grave threats to health.
The seeds' multinational Monsanto Co. said it would suspend future soybean technologies in Argentina, a move that could limit output of the country’s main cash crop, after a disagreement with the government over inspections of genetically modified soybeans.
Monsanto has rejected a request by Argentina for more time to collect monies owed by small farmers for royalties on genetically modified soybean seeds. Argentine agricultural minister Ricardo Buryaile and members of his staff have met with Monsanto representatives, including chief operating officer Brett Begemann to request a waiver on the monies owed.
Argentina, the world's No. 3 soy exporter, said on Thursday the government must authorize any grain inspection, dealing a blow to Monsanto Co. which wants exporters to check cargoes to make sure farmers had paid to produce its genetically modified soybeans.
Government-owned agrochemical firm China National Chemical announced this week an all-cash proposal to buy Swiss rival Syngenta for $43 billion in a deal expected to improve China's food production.