The National Seed Institute (INASE) announced this November 21th that it detected non authorized GMO cotton seeds in fields located in Chaco and Santa Fe provinces. The INASE had previously taken samples from 28 cotton processing plants in those provinces moreover Santiago del Estero and Salta.
The INASE, the institute that enforces the Breeders Act, ordered the destruction of the seed and the crops, and applied fines both farmers and seed dealers that had the illegal GMO cotton.
To the present, Argentinean Government authorized only two traits for cotton: MON-00531-6xMON-01445-2 (Bollgard and Roundup Ready) and BCS -GH002-5xACS-GH001-3. “Thus, the multiplication, commercialization and planting non-authorized GMO seeds represent a violation to the legal framework and a risk for the environment, human and animal health and foreign trade”, the INASE stressed in a press release.
According with sources of it is probably that the illegal seed had come from Brazil, where five or six biotechnology traits are approved. The sources told that INASE have taken 110 samples, but only ten were analyzed because the institute ran out of gen-check. “If only with ten samples analyzed they found all of this, I can’t imagine when they analyses the other hundred samples”, the sources said.
This year it is expected that the cotton area in Argentina climb up to between 400 to 450 thousand hectares, from 300 thousand in the last season. But the only technology available for farmers is the Bollgard RR by Monsanto (now Bayer).
The cotton chain expects that companies release new technologies. BASF and Bayer are the main players in cotton seed technologies, but the weak IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) framework discourage the launching of this new traits.
“Think not only INASE found illegal traits, but also illegal germplasm. We hope this findings help to order the seed commerce in the country”, our sources said.