Argentine soy growers fret seed royalties bill might favor Monsanto
By Maximiliano Rizzi
BUENOS AIRES Aug 25 (Reuters) - Argentine soy farmers fear they will get shortchanged under a proposal they say would favor U.S. agricultural company Monsanto Co by forcing them to pay royalties on seeds grown on their own farms using the company's genetically modified technology.
Farmers in Argentina's Pampas grains belt say they should have to pay only once, or maybe twice, for seeds containing Monsanto's Intacta RR2 PRO technology.
Monsanto says to plant seeds grown with that technology without paying royalties - something that the current law allows - amounts to copyright infringement.
The government says it will introduce a bill to Congress next month requiring farmers to pay royalties for the first three seasons of planting beans grown from original GMO seeds.
"That's something we are not so willing to grant," said Dardo Chiesa, president of Argentine Rural Confederation (CRA), one of the country's main farmers associations.
Grains powerhouse Argentina is the world's No. 3 soybean exporter and top supplier of soymeal livestock feed.
Monsanto officials in Buenos Aires said they would have no comment on the bill until the measure is formally introduced.
"We are worried about it," said Jorge Solmi, head of the seed committee at the Agrarian Federation of Argentina (FAA), another major growers' organization. Continuación...