Brazil approves cultivation and marketing of drought-resistant genetically modified wheat

The Brazilian government has approved the cultivation and sale of drought-resistant genetically modified (GM) wheat HB4 in Brazil, the National Technical Commission for Biosafety (CNBio) disclosed on March 3. Brazil has become the second country after Argentina to approve the cultivation of this GM wheat.

Brazil ranks among the top countries in the world in terms of food consumption and exports. According to Reuters, the move reflects a clear change in Brazilian society’s attitude toward the promotion of genetically modified food, as climate change and the Ukraine crisis have increased concerns about global food security.

HB4 was developed by Trigal Genetics, a joint venture between Argentina’s Ceres Biotechnology and French breeding company Florimont Després. According to the R&D company, this variety is drought-resistant and tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate sodium, which helps increase dry-year yields.

Argentina became the first country to approve the commercial cultivation of this type of wheat in its territory in 2020, but stipulates that it can only be sold to the public after Argentina’s largest customer for wheat, neighboring Brazil, has approved the import.

Ceres Biotech said in a statement on 3, the Brazilian government’s approval means ″opening the Brazilian market to genetically modified wheat technology″ and will facilitate the commercial promotion of the variety in Argentina. Argentina and Brazil are the main wheat producing countries in South America. According to Reuters, because no other country has previously approved the import of genetically modified wheat, Argentine farmers are not very active in planting this type of wheat.

The Brazilian Association of Biscuit, Pasta, Bread and Cake Manufacturers welcomed the government’s decision to increase domestic food supplies and reduce production costs in the industry. The association originally opposed the planting of genetically modified wheat, but changed its position after it commissioned a public opinion survey that showed more than 70 percent of Brazilians do not mind consuming products containing genetically modified wheat ingredients.

Source: World Agrochemical Network

Post time: Mar-17-2023