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Argentine govt to send Parliament seed bill

The Argentine government will send draft legislation on the saving and use of genetically modified seed to Parliament by the end of the year, Latin American newswire Terra reports. The proposed bill would prohibit the practice by farmers. “Argentine farmers will have a greater incentive and competition to improve germplasm, Minister of Agriculture Lorenzo Basso reportedly says. The Minister is to send a bill to MPs in October. Agribusiness and biotechnology firms are supportive, Terra notes. But farmers’ groups are concerned that poorer and small-scale crop growers would have to pay for seed they have previously used for free. The Minister has responded that such farmers would be exempt, and that some 65% would not have to pay any royalty fee. However, such growers, though numerous, account for the minority of the country’s soybean farmers. The government announced plans to introduce legislation recognising intellectual property in GM crop technology last year (Agrow No 647, p 15).

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