UPDATE - Brazil court reimposes transgenic soy ban
Tuesday September 9, 12:04 am ET
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BRASILIA, Brazil, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A Brazilian court on Monday knocked down a ruling that lifted a ban on the planting and sale of Monsanto Co.(NYSE:MON - News) transgenic soybeans, after an appeal by Greenpeace and other groups that oppose its use.
The decision by the federal tribunal suspended a ruling that temporarily lifted the injunction blocking Monsanto from selling GM Roundup Ready soybeans in Brazil, the world's number two soy producer.
The latest twist in Brazil's legal battle over transgenic soy comes as the government tries to clarify regulatory law on GM crops before the planting of the next harvest in October.
The previous ruling to lift the ban was made in August by one of the tribunal's judges, Selene Maria de Almeida.
She argued the court should suspend the ban in effect since 2000 until it made a definitive judgement.
Her two male colleagues -- Antonio Ezequiel and Joao Batista Gomes -- voted against her on Monday, saying they wished to act with more caution.
A final legal decision on the use and sale of GM soy in Brazil has yet to be made. Batista Gomes said he would try to speed up the ruling but gave no date for a decision.
Brazil is the last agricultural heavyweight in the world to ban the commercial use of GM crops and foods.
Soy farmers in the south of Brazil ignore the ban and plant GM soy smuggled in from Argentina, where it is widely planted.
Most Brazilian farmers favor Monsanto's GM soybeans because they require less herbicide and are cheaper to grow than conventional seeds.
Environmental campaigners are concerned about the potential health risks from GM crops.