New Serbian GM Law Prohibits Roundup Ready Soybeans

On May 29, 2009 National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia adopted new Law Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) that fully prohibits the possibility of commercial growing of live modified organisms, or trade with live modified organism and products derived from genetically modified organisms. With the new GMO law, Serbian import of soybean meal (from Roundup Ready soybeans) for cattle feed is no longer possible, according to a USDA-FAS GAIN report.

The Law on Genetically Modified Organisms adopted by the Serbian Parliament on May 29th, 2009, regulates basic conditions for the use of GMO in closed systems (laboratory work, greenhouses) and deliberate release into the environment (experimentally work in the field) of GMOs. The law prohibits commercial growing of GMOs, or trade with GMOs and products derived from GMOs — a practice considered more restrictive than EU regulations. According to the previous GMO law, it was possible to import Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans, the only GMO product that was allowed for import to Serbia due to the limited local production and constant deficit of soybean meal for cattle feed. Under the new law, Serbia will no longer be able to import soybean meal from RR soybeans and local cattle feed producers will have to buy soybean meal from local producers. Serbia was mainly importing soybean meal from Brazil and Argentina.

For MY2009/10 Serbia planted 160,000 hectares (Ha) of soybeans and will, given an average yield of 2.3 MT/Ha, probably produce around 360,000 MT of soybeans. Local production of soybean meal has increased for the last couple of years due to increased area planted with soybeans and expanded local crushing facilities. For MY09/10 is forecast to reach 220,000 MT. Consumption of soybean meal is estimated at around 250-270,000 MT, with possible deficit of around 30-50,000 MT that can be covered only by imports.

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