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Brazilian government to discuss transgenic soybeans

(Thursday, Feb. 13, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The following story, translated by Colorado farmer David Dechant, comes from the Brazilian farm magazine Globo Rural.

The federal government still intends to define, before harvest begins in March, a destination for the transgenic soybeans grown in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

This week representatives for the ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Health, and Justice and the Chief of Staff met in Brasilia to try to come up with a unified position on the matter.

"These soybeans cannot be consumed in the Brazilian market," said the Ministry of Environment's secretary of biodiversity, Joćo Pablo Capobianco. On the other hand, the government is not interested in provoking a financial disaster in the countryside.

One of the solutions can be to export the transgenic soybeans. And, by next planting season, substitution (with non-transgenic) will be obligatory. "We want this to be the last year with transgenic soybeans in the country."

Last week, Federal Police opened inquiries to investigate eight flagrant producers of transgenic seeds in Passo Fundo. According to Mario Vieira, the next stage of the investigation will include cooperatives' and crushers' stocks.