EU's slow approval of GM soybeans likely to disrupt market as pace of development increases in other countries, American Soybean Assn. president says

LOS ANGELES , July 3, 2012 () – The European Union's (EU) slow approval of genetically modified (GM) soybeans will likely disrupt the market as the pace of development increases in other countries, according to American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman, Reuters reported July 3.

While it takes roughly two years in countries like Brazil and the U.S. for a GM soybean strain to be granted approval, it takes around four years for this same strain to be approved by the EU, Wellman told Reuters on July 3 during an International Oilseed Producers Dialogue (IOPD) meeting.

One hundred percent of Paraguay’s and Uruguay’s soybean crops have been genetically modified, as have approximately 96% of soybean crops in the U.S., 90% of Brazilian soybean crops, and 99% of soybean crops in Argentina, Wellman said.

Roughly 95% of global soybean shipments originated in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and the U.S., according to the International Grains Council’s 2012/2013 forecast, Reuters reported.

In the future, some private companies could potentially refrain from seeking EU approval for their GM soybean crops, further disrupting the international soybean market, Wellman said.

Generally, U.S. farmers do not plant GM soybeans that have not been granted EU approval for fear that their soybean shipments to the EU could contain small amounts of the unapproved strain. This could lead the EU to reject them, Reuters added.

U.S. farmers have begun planting GM soybeans that have been modified to have a large amount of oleic, which can extend the shelf life of a product without the use of trans fats, even though the EU has yet to approve this strain.

The EU’s executive is planning to propose a measure that would permit food imports to contain trace amounts of unapproved GM crops if an EU authorization request was filed at least three months previously and these crops have been granted approval by a non-EU producing country.

In 2011, the EU approved a similar measure for animal feed imports, Reuters reported.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on July 3, 2012.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.