|"Argentina is a beachhead" for Monsanto/Glyphosate-resistant superweeds in Argentina (30/8/2006)|
1."Argentina is a beachhead, a base of operations" for Monsanto
COMMENT FROM GLENN ASHTON ON ITEMS 2 & 3:
1.Argentina-Monsanto War Grows, Yet Each Needs The Other
BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)--Despite an escalating conflict over royalties on genetically modified soybeans, Argentina and Monsanto (MON) have developed a complex relationship involving codependence and antagonism...
A Biotechnology Laboratory
Why [given its failure to collect royalties in Argentina] doesn't Monsanto simply pull up anchor and leave Argentina
The answer lies in the key role Argentina plays in the development and promotion of biotechnology in the world.
"If you're in the E.U. and you want to buy (non-biotech) soybeans, where are you going to get them?" a biotechnology analyst said. "All the major producers are growing the genetically modified beans."
Only the U.S produces more genetically modified crops then Argentina. The U.S. grows transgenic soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, squash and papaya on nearly 50 million hectares, according to the International Service for the Acquisition Agri-Biotech Applications, or ISAAA, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the promotion of agricultural biotechnology.
Argentina has over 17 million hectares dedicated to the production of transgenic crops.
"Argentina is a beachhead, a base of operations, that's very important to Monsanto," Lamarca said.
The government also broke the pattern of past administrations which was to only allow transgenic crops which were approved in the E.U.
In addition, Argentina played a key role in the entry of Roundup-Ready technology into Brazil, the world's second largest producer of soybeans.
Despite being illegal, transgenic soybeans have been sown in the south of Brazil for a decade. The government turned a blind eye to rampant smuggling of the seeds from neighboring Argentina and was finally forced to authorize their use when their presence in the country was a fait acompli. The government is studying a new measure to formally legalize the planting of genetically modified soy for next year's crop.
Analysts forecast that approximately 30% of Brazil's crop will come from genetically modified soy seeds this season.
"The development (of transgenic crops) in Argentina was indispensable for the development of this technology in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia," Lamarca said.
Source: Shane Romig, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4314-2757; [email protected]
2.Johnsongrass Resistance to Glyphosate Confirmed in Argentina
Monsanto Company has confirmed that a variety of Johnsongrass, a weed species, has been found in northeastern Argentina with resistance to glyphosate-based herbicide. A preliminary assessment of the affected area identified the problem on 17,000 to 25,0000 acres. Monsanto and two of Argentina's major fertilizer and agrochemical trade organizations announced the weed problem to the public and have developed recommendations to mitigate the problem where it has been found.
Glyphosate-resistant Johnsongrass has not been found in the U.S., but the article says that several other resistant weed species have been. [Glyphosate is the active ingredient in herbicide used on Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) "Roundup Ready" soybeans in Argentina; Roundup Ready crops are engineered for resistance to glyphosate.]
The article can be viewed online at the link below. http://www.checkbiotech.org/root/index.cfm?fuseaction=news&doc_id=13403&start=1&control=169&page_start=1&page_nr=101&pg=1
3.Glyphosate-Resistant Johnsongrass Has Been Confirmed In A Northern Province In Argentina
According to industry groups in Argentina, glyphosate is failing to control Johnsongrass in the northern region of the country.
Johnsongrass is a perennial grass native of Southern Eurasia. It reproduces from seeds and from thick scaly underground rhizomes and may reach a height of 1.5 meter tall. It was brought into Argentina as a forage and due to its excellent adaptation to the environment, it was transformed into a weed nationwide.
Private follow-up of the case began in 2004 after a grower from the Province of Salta submitted an inquiry to Monsanto on failure to control Johnsongrass using glyphosate. Monsanto has been investigating the case since that time. The studied area has nearly 63 km. from north to south and nearly 35 km. from east to west, taking Campichuelo as the south end and Tartagal as the north end. A preliminary assessment of the affected area determines a range from 7,000 to 10,000 hectares.
Trials were conducted, both field and greenhouse trials, confirming failure to control Johnsongrass using glyphosate at the label rate.