Paraguay approves GM soy, corn

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In the latest approval of genetically modified grains in South America, Paraguay announced this week it plans to approve Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 soybean as well as other corn technologies from Monsanto and Dow Chemical.

This country’s announcement follows earlier reports from Argentina, who announced upcoming approvals for the Roundup Ready 2 soybean from Monsanto. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch of Powercore in Argentina to control major pests in corn. The technology combines two herbicide-tolerant genes plus three genes resistant to pests of economic importance to Argentina and is the first product approved in Argentina with five genes stacked in corn.

Soybean yield in Argentina during the 2011/12 season were reduced by drought to 4.3 million tonnes. But the country expects to increase its soy output in 2012/13 to 8 million tonnes with the use of the newly approved varieties from Monsanto.

Paraguay’s approval for the new variety is expected to arrive in time for the start of planting in October.

Although Paraguay comes in at a distant fourth as a soy exporter in the world, adopting GM seed could help it target its position as a strong contributor. The potential for Paraguay is strong considering demand for food among a growing middle class, mainly in Asia, is only expected to increase over the next 20 to 50 years.

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