Foreign media news on November 14: Brazil has become the first country in the world to allow the import of genetically modified wheat flour. However, Argentina is unlikely to export soon in the face of opposition from Brazilian flour mills and global consumers.
As wheat prices rise and fears that bad weather may threaten food security intensify, genetically modified wheat is triggering broader global discussion. Although GM soybeans and corn have been accepted worldwide for a long time, these GM crops are mainly used for livestock rather than human consumption.
Brazil’s biosafety agency CTNBio said the decision to approve the import only applies to wheat flour. Brazilian flour mills have threatened to boycott Argentine GM wheat and said they would seek legal recourse to reverse the decision.
Gustavo edigoras, President of the Argentine chamber of Commerce for grain exporters (ciara-cec), said that the decision was made by a technical institution, but it is important to understand the needs of the Brazilian market. It seems that Brazilian consumers do not want Argentine GM wheat. The Brazilian flour processing Association (abitrigo) said it would ask the president’s office to convene the national biosafety committee to review the decision. The organization had previously threatened to stop buying Argentine wheat and turn to other countries if Brazil approved the import of the genetically modified drought resistant wheat. Alan sudman, chief commodity economist at stonex, said that if Brazil refused to buy because of fear of strong consumer opposition, it could lead to a surge in demand for U.S. wheat. In the final analysis, it depends on consumers and what consumers are willing to accept.
At present, only a small number of Argentine farms try to grow transgenic wheat that can resist drought and tolerate the common herbicide glufosinate. The developer of this wheat is bioceres. Sources at the company said they would seek approval from other major markets before seeking commercial sales of GM wheat. According to the information disclosed by the company, Argentina has experimentally planted about 55000 hectares of transgenic wheat.
Argentine grain exporters have asked the government to determine which farmers are planting GM wheat in order to stop buying from these areas. Santiagodel solar grows GM wheat in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. He said that the final decision is in the hands of Brazilian flour mills and consumers. Regulators agree that it is good, but ultimately wheat is sold to flour mills and consumers. If they don’t accept it, there will still be big problems.
As of October 19 this year, Argentina had exported a total of 8.424 million tons of wheat, of which about 50% were exported to Brazil. Most of Brazil’s wheat imports depend on its southern neighbors.
Francisco santiran, an Argentine farmer who grows wheat in Buenos Aires Province, said he would wait for other countries to approve the import of wheat varieties before planting GM wheat. No matter how much Brazil accepts, it is reasonable to wait a year to see how other countries importing wheat from Argentina react.
Source: Boyi University
Post time: Nov-17-2021