Buenos Aires, February 18th. The Argentinean Ag-Industry secretariat denied any responsibility for the presence of GMO rapeseed in France and Germany. Last week, a Reuters wire cited statements from Bayer’s COO in France, Catherine Lamboley, suggesting that the contamination was originated in Argentina.

This affirmation upset Argentine authorities, who released a communicate two days later. According to this press release, the Seeds National Institute (INASE) authorities analyzed the rapeseed imported by Bayer from France, for the local counter-station production. In that occasion, they found the presence of GMO seeds, and then they ordered the destruction of the contaminated seeds.

“It is not the first time that adventitia presence of GMO rapeseed is found in French seeds, as it happened in 2015 when French seeds were imported to the UK”, the official press release says.

The INASE affirms that the local production of rapeseed was made after the negative GMO presence was checked. Even more, before the export was authorized, possible GMO contamination was tested and the result was negative once again.

“But the certification process was finished in the European Union, where the final processing of the seeds was made, being Bayer responsible for any change in the seed quality sent from Argentina, including the potential contamination with GMO seeds in Europe”, the INASE affirms.

“Thus, we reject statements suggesting that the GMO contamination could be originated in Argentina, (..) where no source of possible contamination exists”, the press release adds. Anyway, the INASE decided to suspend new rapeseed exports until this incident is clarified.