Brazil, one of the largest food producers in the world, approved the cultivation, import and marketing in the country of genetically modified wheat (HB4), in a context of adverse weather conditions in the region, industry sources reported this Friday.
The National Technical Commission for Biosafety (CTNBio), a body linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, released the transgenic wheat at the request of the company Tropical Melhoramento e Genetica, in association with the Argentine firm Bioceres.
Brazil thus becomes the second country in which the competent agencies approve the cultivation of HB4 wheat, after Argentina. Both nations represent 90% of the cultivated area of wheat in South America, according to Bioceres.
The CTNBio decision comes after Brazil gave the green light to the use of flour made with wheat
transgenic in November 2021, which in its day was questioned by consumer protection organizations and part of the wheat sector.
“In addition to opening the Brazilian market to the technology, the decision opens the way for commercialization in Argentina through channels other than Bioceres’ identity preserved HB4,” the company celebrated in a note released this Friday.
Bioceres indicated that the release in Brazilian territory will also allow it to “accelerate” its collaboration with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) to develop “new varieties of subtropical wheat.”
According to the company, genetically modified wheat (HB4) allows crops to adapt “to a more extreme climate”, offering “a yield increase of more than 40% in environments with severe water stress.”
“HB4 wheat has already been approved for use in food and feed in the United States, Colombia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Nigeria, and for use in feed in Indonesia,” says Bioceres.
The Brazilian Association of the Wheat Industry (Abitrigo) stated in a note that it is “favorable to innovative developments that can bring benefits to the health and food safety of Brazilians.”