Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed, today, a biosafety bill into law which establishes the regulatory process for the approval of biotech crops.
This step is another indication of the growing acceptance of biotechnology around the world, said Brett Begemann, Monsanto's Executive Vice President, International.
"The biosafety law demonstrates that Brazil is committed to a science- based regulatory system," said Begemann.
"This law, combined with a solid demonstration for respecting intellectual property protection, would make it possible for Monsanto to consider the introduction of new technology into Brazil."
Begemann said that a working system that allows Monsanto to be compensated for the use of its technology must be firmly established before the company brings new products to Brazil.
"Monsanto invests more than $500 million dollars a year in the research and development of technology that benefits growers," said Begemann.
"We need to know that we can protect this investment so we can continue to bring new products to growers globally."
Monsanto has been working since 1997 for the right to legally commercialize Roundup Ready soybeans in Brazil. Brazil's CTNBio regulatory agency will continue to have the approval authority for research and commercialization of biotech crops under the new law just enacted.
Grower adoption of agricultural biotechnology continues to grow. In 2004, growers in 18 countries planted 200 million acres (81 million hectares) of biotechnology crops, an increase of 20 percent over 2003.