Brazil GMO crackdown / Indian soymeal booming because non-GM (22/6/2006)

all items shortened:

1.Brazil GMO crackdown seen leading to $30m in cotton losses
2.U.S. State Legislatures Increasingly Attempting to Limit Ag Biotechnology
3.Indian soymeal booming because non-GM
4.GEAC dismisses Bt cotton affecting sheep

1.Brazil GMO crackdown seen leading to $30m in cotton losses
DJCS, June 22, 2006

SAO PAULO - The discovery of illegal Monsanto (MON) transgenic cotton plants on roughly 18,000 hectares of Brazilian cotton farms caused a quarantine of those fields by federal authorities this week and will likely amount to $30 million in losses, according to Brazil's Cotton Producers Association, or Abrapa.

"Farmers are more than a bit worried. Some say that they didn't know the plants were GMO," said Abrapa President Joao Carlos Jacobsen about the prohibited Roundup Ready Fiex Cotton, a genetically modified cotton seed that helps control the spread of weeds.

Abrapa estimates that 6,400 metric tons of cotton will be destroyed as a result. Brazil's government only allows for the planting of Monsanto's Bollgard cotton, another transgenic variety, in a few experimental fields. Bollgard cotton makes the plant more resistant to the boll weevil, one of the most damaging pests to cotton. Twenty properties throughout Brazil's top cotton-producing states were discovered this month to be using transgenic cotton. Government authorities are currently in Goias, the nations No. 3 producer.

The National Biosecurity Commission, or CTNBi0, said farmers would not be permitted to plant cotton on those fields in the 2006-07 crop. That doesn't mean farmers will plant less cotton, however. Most cotton farmers also plant soy and raise cattle, so they could move crops to other fields without reducing output.

Requests for permission to use GMO crops are currently being stalled at CTNBi0 under various political bottlenecks. CTNBi0 currently has a backlog of roughly 80 requests for experimental field tests for GMO corn, soy, rice and cotton, among other things.

2.[U.S.] State Legislatures Increasingly Attempting to Limit Ag Biotechnology
Farm Futures, 22 June 2006

During the 2005 legislative session, 117 pieces of legislation related to agricultural biotechnology were introduced in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Fourteen percent of the bills introduced addressed preemption and twenty-six% of introduced legislation addressed support of agricultural biotechnology. In other areas, 12% of introduced bills in 2005 imposed moratoria on GM crops and animals; 8% imposed labeling requirements; 8% involved studies and taskforces and 2% concerned crop destruction.

3.Indian soymeal exports jump on strong demand
By Hari Ramachandran REUTERS, June 19, 2006

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's soymeal exports are expected to nearly double to 3.7 million tonnes in the year ending September 2006 on strong demand from Vietnam and Japan and competitive prices, a top trade official said on Monday.

"Vietnam, Japan, China, South Korea and Indonesia were among the strong buyers of Indian meal during the year," [Rajesh Agrawal, chairman of the Soybean Processors' Association of India] told Reuters over telephone from Indore.

"Everywhere Indian meal was better accepted this year because it is non-genetically modified and of good quality," Agrawal said.

4.GEAC dismisses Bt cotton affecting sheep
Financial Express, June 21, 2006

HYDERABAD, JUNE 20: The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), under the ministry of environment and forests, has finally brushed aside recent allegations made by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), an NGO, that mortality in sheep flocks was affected after grazing on Bt cotton fields in Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh.

Besides, the Review Committee on Genetic Modification (RCGM) under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has decided to bring in leaf toxicity studies as part of the bio safety studies in future.

The CSA report, which surveyed randomly three villages, said, "Animals that fed continuously on Bt cotton for a week, became listless with erosive lesions in the mouth, nasal discharge and blackish diarrhoea."

...the GEAC also recommended, that the DBT may sponsor a study to assess the problem in Warangal district with the help of the local veterinary hospital. It has also requested the DBT to expedite the study so that the allegation made by the NGOs can be brought to a conclusion, the sources added.


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