August 14, 2003



China OKs New Soybean Safety Evaluation By Brazil


China has approved a new safety evaluation for Brazil-origin soybeans submitted by the Brazilian embassy in China, indicating the Sino-Brazil soybean trade could continue this year, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday.


"We are OK with the new evaluation sent by Brazil," the official at the Biosafety Office of Agricultural GMO, which falls under the ministry, said.


The evaluation was filed to the ministry Aug. 5.


The MOA's approval was needed before foreign exporters could ship Brazilian soybeans to China. Brazilian soybeans are now certified as safe for human consumption and are approved by the agricultural ministry for import.


"Exporters who plan to sell Brazilian soybeans to China are allowed to apply for safety certificates now," said the ministry official.


Brazil's new evaluation is a modification of a previous evaluation submitted at the beginning of this year, after the ministry extended its interim rule on imports of produce derived from genetically modified crops to April 20, 2004, from the original Sept. 20, 2003.


Under the rule, foreign exporters and local importers must obtain safety certificates, labeling permits and quarantine permits before any trade can take place.


Brazil is China's second largest soybean supplier after the U.S. Brazil exported 2.5 million metric tons of soybeans in the first half of this year, up more than sevenfold from a year ago, according to figures from Chinese customs.