SAO PAULO, Brazil, December
1, 2003 -- CropChoice news -- Reuters, 11/28/03: The government
is studying alternative ports to Paranagua for exporting the 2003/04
(Oct/Sep) soy crop following a Parana state law banning the export
of GM soybeans, the transport ministry said.
"Parana is already a bottleneck. My role is to create conditions
in other ports so that all the soy is shipped," Transport Minister
Anderson Adauto told reporters, referring to huge queues of soy
trucks outside the port in recent years.
The minister has set up a working group to discuss the issue and
it will meet for the first time next week.
The group consists of representatives from the Agriculture Ministry,
National Association of Cereals Exporters (Anec) and the Brazilian
Agriculture and Livestock Confederation (CNA).
Although the Oct. 27 Parana state law, which bans the planting,
processing, sale and transport of genetically modified (GM) crops,
has been challenged in the courts, the government believes it may
still be in force next year.
"It's clear that GM soy won't be sent there (Paranagua) so
we must think of alternatives," said Adauto speaking at a cereals
exporters' dinner in Sao Paulo on Thursday.
Exporters strongly criticized the Parana state law, which comes
ahead of an expected record soy crop in 2004.
"Next year we will have 1.5 million soy (truck and train)
loads arriving at Paranagua. I want to know how one can test them
all for GM material ?" Sergio Mendes, Anec executive secretary,
said in a speech.
Despite the Parana GM crop ban, hundreds of soy producers in Parana
state have signed a federal government document saying that they
will plant GM crops.