Brazil is one of the largest food producers in the world, and following in the footsteps of its neighboring country, Argentina has decided to approve the cultivation, importation and commercialization in the country of genetically modified wheat (HB4), in a context of climatic conditions adversaries in the region, information this Friday from industry sources.
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.
Approved for food and thought
The CTNBio decision is adopted after Brazil gave the green light to the use of flour made with transgenic wheat in November 2021, which was questioned at the time 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 said 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,” Bioceres says. 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.”