Ministry Tests Seeds for GMOs

A Lastest News about Crops and Support Services in Italy

Last updated: 26 Sep 2011

The Italian Ministry of Agriculture recently released their annual report on seed testing as part of their control program against the presence of GMOs in their corn and soybean seeds.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 8/30/2011 GAIN Report Number: IT1137 Italy Post: Rome Italian Ministry of Agriculture Tests Seeds for GMOs Report Categories: Biotechnology Approved By: James Dever Prepared By: Dana Biasetti Report Highlights: The Italian Ministry of Agriculture recently released their annual report on seed testing as part of their control program against the presence of GMOs in their corn and soybean seeds. Analyses were performed on 1,249 samples of corn seed and 493 samples of soybean seeds. Of these samples tested, 1.7% of the seed corn and 1.4% of the soybean seed were found to have traces of GMOs. General Information: OVERVIEW The Italian Ministry of Agriculture recently released its annual report on seed testing. One objective of the tests is to ensure that GMOs are not presence in corn and soybean seeds. The Ministry analyzed 1,249 samples of corn seed and 493 samples of soybean seeds, of which 1.7% of the seed corn and 1.4% of the soybean seed were found to contain traces of GMOs. The Ministry?s collects and test samples of corn and soybean seeds to ensure that Italian farmers do not use seeds that contain GMOs. The testing is performed by the Ministry of Agricultures? Central Inspectorate for the Protection of Quality Food Products and Prevention of Fraud (ICQRF) and the National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition (INRAN) of the Italian Customs Agency. CORN SEED Italian corn area is more than 1.1 million hectares, and in 2011 industry estimates report production at 9,000,000 MT. Of the 1,249 corn seed samples tested, 21 samples (1.7% of the seed) tested positive for traces of GMOs ranging from 0.1 to 0.3%. These corn seeds were immediately seized by the authorities. Below is a table outlining the type of corn seed found with irregularities and the country of origin: CORN SEED VARIETY IRREGULARITIES ORIGIN PR33T56 3 USA PR31N27 3 USA PR32B10 5 USA P1543 1 USA PR36V52 1 USA DKC6089 2 FRANCE NAUDI 1 FRANCE VIVANI 1 FRANCE DKC6286 1 FRANCE PR35F36 1 FRANCE ANADON 1 CHILE FANTASTIC 1 CHILE Below is a table outlining corn seed testing results performed from 2005-2011: CORN 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 SEED TESTING Samples 1564 2564 2170 2197 1799 1638 1249 Tested Quantitie 31.776.1 22.466.3 24.900.4 22.898.3 22.498.8 20.571.2 11.096.4 s 1 4 6 9 6 0 5 Sampled Irregular 55 34 32 28 22 10 21 Samples Found % of the 3.5% 1.3% 1.5% 1.3% 1.3% 0.6% 1.7% total irregular samples SOYBEAN SEED Italian soybean area exceeds 250,000 hectares and in 2011 industry estimates report production at 800,000 MT. Of the 493 soybean seed samples tested, seven (1.7% of the seed) tested positive for traces of GMOs at 0.1%. These soybean seeds were immediately seized by the authorities. Below is a table outlining the type of soybean seed found with irregularities and the country of origin: SOYBEAN SEED IRREGULARITIES ORIGIN VARIETY PR91M10 3 USA DEMETRA 1 ITALY PR91M10 1 ITALY PR92M22 1 CANADA PR92B63 1 CANADA Below is a table outlining soybean seed testing results performed from 2005-2011: SOYBEANSEE 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 D TESTING Samples 229 553 413 358 504 590 493 Tested Quantities 4.641,3 11.086,4 8.097,5 7.067,2 10.154,1 11.690,9 11.099,5 Sampled 4 0 1 8 5 1 9 Irregular 10 14 24 14 16 15 7 Samples Found % of the total 4.6% 2.5% 5.8% 3.9% 3.2% 2.6% 1.4% irregular samples BIOTECH CROPS IN ITALY Planting biotech crops is illegal in Italy due the absence of coexistence rules and to a strong opposition by some regions, farmers? unions and NGOs. Although public opinion is generally negative towards biotech food?which is thought to be less healthy and counter to Italian culinary and cultural traditions?the opposition may not be as strong as some believe. Pro-biotech policies currently are not politically expedient. However, eventually they may become an economic necessity. Despite opposing the EU?s opt-out proposal to grant Member States the ability to opt-out of EU-approved biotech cultivation for non-scientific reasons, Italy may invoke the safeguard clause to prevent the cultivation of EU-authorized biotech crops (see FAS GAIN IT1127). FOR MORE POST REPORTING on GMOs PLEASE SEE: IT1131 ? Italian Agricultural Biotechnology Annual IT1127 ? Italy Intends to Invoke Safeguard Clause IT1125 ? Biotechnology in Italy 2011 FAS GAIN reports are available at: http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Lists/Advanced%20Search/AllItems.aspx
Posted: 25 September 2011, last updated 26 September 2011

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