Farmers in southern Brazil are urging the government to pass an emergency to allow use of GMO soybeans in the coming 2003-04 season (October-September), reports the American Soybean Association this week.
According to the article, the call comes as large numbers of farmers get ready to plant currently illegal transgenic beans, despite government warnings not to do so.
"It's not a scientific issue, it's a social issue. They can't prosecute thousands of farmers," Jorge Rodrigues, grains commission president at the agricultural federation in Rio Grande do Sul is reported as saying.
The ASA reports that the Brazilian government had previously hinted that it would come up with a new biotechnology law regulating GMOs, ready for this season, but with a draft bill yet to be presented to the legislature, sector representatives now say that is very unlikely.
The ASA continues that a faction in the government, led by Environment Minister Marina Silva, remains opposed to lifting the current ban on GMOs in place in Brazil, until further health and environmental impact studies are conducted.
According to the report the lack of effective segregation practices means 'much of the non-GMO seed is mixed with illegal produce'. The new provisional measure would be a precursor to the biotechnology bill, which sets down the processes for approving the technology.