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Brazil soy exporters to pay '04 GM royalty to Monsanto

(Thursday, June 12, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Reuters via Agnet: SAO PAULO, Brazil - Felipe Osorio, the marketing director of Monsanto's Brazilian subsidiary, was cited as saying that Brazilian soybean exporters are expected to pay royalties starting in 2004 for shipments of Monsanto Co.'s genetically modified "Roundup Ready" soybeans.

The story explains that Brazil is the only agricultural producer of its size that still bans the commercial planting and sale of GM crops. Its government has granted amnesty until early 2004 for producers growing black-market GM soy.

Osorio said negotiations were proceeding well with exporters, whom Monsanto expected to sign royalty contracts by Aug. 1 for 2003/04 soy crop exports, adding, "We've been negotiating (with exporters) for two months and we are very close to closing these contracts."

But exporters were cited as saying they were skeptical of Monsanto's plans to use them as "collection agents" to get revenues from Brazil's thriving illicit GM soy market, which official seed suppliers estimate at over 30 percent of the crop.

Roughly 35 local exporters account for 95 percent of the country's shipments of soy abroad.

Most of the Roundup Ready seeds are believed to have been smuggled into Brazil from Argentina and Paraguay, where they are legally planted.