Monsanto Seals GMO Pact With Argentina to End Soybean Dispute

  • Agriculture Ministry announces deal after years of discord
  • Seed institute will oversee GMO testing of soybean cargoes

Monsanto Co. and Argentina announced an agreement for the collection of royalties for genetically modified soybeans, ending years of dispute between the world’s largest seed company and the third-largest grower of the crop.

"The state will have full control of seed commercialization in order to ensure private companies like Monsanto will be able to collect royalties payments," Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile said Thursday at a press conference in Buenos Aires. "That is the spirit of the resolution."

The pact represents a cultural shift for Argentine farmers, who have generally avoided paying royalties to seed companies by using GMO seeds saved from previous harvests or purchased from non-registered suppliers. For St. Louis-based Monsanto, the agreement should help it secure revenue from its third-largest market after the U.S. and Brazil.

According to the resolution, the Argentine Seed Institute, also known by its Spanish acronym Inase, will oversee the detection of crops from Monsanto’s Intacta GMO soybean seeds. Inase will be allowed to delegate the laboratory testing to regional grain exchanges. This season’s Argentine soybean crop will be 56 million metric tons, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said last month.

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