BUENOS AIRES, June 23 (Reuters) - Argentina’s government will oversee the testing of soybean crops under a deal aimed at satisfying demands by U.S. seed company Monsanto that its genetically altered technology be protected, the nation’s agriculture minister said on Thursday.
Monsanto wanted export companies to inspect shipments as they do in neighboring Brazil, but Argentine farmers opposed that system and clamored for government control.
“The (government‘s) National Seed Institute will work out agreements with public and private entities to carry out selective inspections to determine the legality of seeds,” Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile said at a news conference.
Monsanto threatened to stop selling new soybean technologies in Argentina over the dispute.
A seed industry source with knowledge of the situation said Monsanto would examine the results of the new inspection system before making a decision on the introduction of new genetically modified technology, which farmers say they need to keep up with their international competitors.
Argentina is the world’s No. 3 soybean exporter and top supplier of soymeal livestock feed. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Maximilian Heath; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)