argentinian agri-biosciences firm Bioceres announced this week that the Brazilian government’s National Biosafety Commission approved the company’s drought resistant, genetically modified strain of wheat, HB4 wheat for cultivation, production, and marketing to the public.
Bioceres, in a statement on Friday, praised Brazil’s CTNBio for “opening the Brazilian market to the technology.” In what the company refers to as targeted environments, the strain is reported to increase yields up to 43%,
Although a number of countries have already approved the genetically modified wheat strain for importation, Brazil is only the second country to approve it for cultivation.
Due to the importance of wheat as a staple crop for populations across the globe, most nations have been hesitant to begin meddling with the plant’s genetic code, without knowing more about the potential long-term issues which could arise from it.
This, however, is not Brazil’s first time leading the pack with respect to genetically modified food. Brazil was the first country to approve the importation of flour made with genetically modified wheat, back in 2021.
Although the industry leaders were initially skeptical about the use of GMOs, they have begun warming to the technology recently, due to shifting public opinion. Abimapi, an association representing grain product manufacturers, such as bakers and pasta makers, had initially opposed introducing GMO wheat into its supply chain. However after commissioning a public poll which found that 70% of Brazilians did not mind consuming products made from genetically modified wheat, the association dropped its opposition to the technology.
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