Monsanto, Argentina, and Trade in GM Crops

The latest in the ongoing battle over genetically modified crops, intellectual property, and international trade: Soy imports delayed as Argentina fights Monsanto over GM (Food Production Daily)

Argentina’s government joins a group of meat producers in Denmark in a court battle against Monsanto over genetically modified soy, one that has led to imported supplies being held up at the EU’s ports.

The court case, originally brought against meat producers and processors by Monsanto, highlights the problems arising from strict patents relating to genetically modified (GM) crops and other ingredients used as feed in the EU. Currently GM crops can only be imported as feed into the EU.
Monsanto brought the court case against the Danish importers, alleging they were importing soybeans from Argentina derived from a Monsanto-made seed, whose patent is recognised in Europe but not in Argentina.

I’m no expert on international trade, but my guess is that this issue (and the court case) would be a no-brainer if the product in question were anything other than genetically modified crops. At stake, essentially, is whether a corporation should be able to prevent retailers in Country A (which does generally recognize the company’s intellectual property rights) from importing products (ones based upon the company’s I.P.) from Country B (which doesn’t recognize the company’s I.P. rights).
A comparison: if Nokia asked an E.U. government to stop retailers in the E.U from importing rip-offs of Nokia phones from China, would anyone find Nokia’s actions the least bit controversial?

(Interesting side note: just 5 years ago, Monsanto won a corporate citizenship award in Argentina. Go figure.)

Links:
Monsanto
Monsanto @ Wikipedia
An anti-Monsanto page

Relevant Books:
Against the Grain : Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food
Genetically Modified Foods: Debating Biotechnology
Food, Inc. : Mendel to Monsanto–The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest
Agribusiness and Society : Corporate Responses to Environmentalism, Market Opportunities and Public Regulation

1 comment so far

  1. […] genetically modified foods, health benefit claims, country-of-origin labeling, inspection, and international trade. [hyperlinks […]


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