Over 10% of Brazilian soybeans are genetically modified

07/03/2003 - 21h06

São Paulo, 3/10/2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - Minister of Environment, Marina Silva, reports that she opposes the sale of transgenic soybeans in Brazil because it is illegal to sell or plant such crops in the country.

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that some 6 million tons of the country's soybean crop is transgenic, out of a total of 49 million tons. Most of it in Rio Grande do Sul where some farmers have been using transgenic seeds for six years. The seeds are smuggled in from Argentina and are reportedly also being used in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Mato Grosso. Farmers claim that by using them they have reduced costs and their crops are more resistant to pests. (AB)