Brazil's tough nuts

Published: Tuesday 15 February 2005

Brazilian farmers, who have already caused considerable monetary loss to Monsanto Company, have given another blow to the agrochemical giant. Following a recent court order, the Cooperativa Triticola Mista Campo Novo, a group of about 8,700 farmers in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, will not pay royalty to the company for using its herbicide-resistant Roundup Ready soy seeds. The group had argued in their case that Monsanto can only charge royalties on its seeds, not on the amount of soy produced.

The company has tried very hard for several years to collect royalty in Brazil, where farmers extensively use smuggled Monsanto seeds. The government has also been lax in enforcing royalty payments. Following the ruling, Monsanto said it will publicly respond to it only after it is officially notified. The halt to royalty payments are, however, temporary, as per the court order. Brazil is the second largest soy producer globally.

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