LatinNews Daily - 06 March 2023

In brief: Cultivation and sale of GM wheat approved in Brazil

* The Argentina-based agricultural technology company Bioceres Crop Solutions has announced that it has gained regulatory approval in Brazil for its genetically modified (GM) wheat programme. The national biosafety commission (CNTBio) of Brazil’s ministry of science, technology, and innovation has approved the commercialisation and cultivation of HB4 wheat, the type of GM crop developed by Bioceres which the company says is drought-tolerant. HB4 wheat flour had already been approved in Brazil in November 2021 for food and feed use, but CNTBio’s recent decision makes Brazil the second country, after Argentina, where HB4 wheat has been approved for cultivation. In a statement, Bioceres described the achievements of its HB4 technology, claiming that it has “already proven to deliver more than 40% yield increases in environments under severe water stress, based on results from Argentina’s recent drought-affected crop.” The company also stated that HB4 wheat could be used for “double cropping,” which entails rotating wheat with a summer legume, especially in water-scarce regions. The Brazilian wheat industry association (Abitrigo) has expressed its support for GM technology, stating that the developments would “bring benefits to the health and food security of Brazilians.”   

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