Brazil’s National Biosafety Commission has approved the production, cultivation, and commercialization of HB4 wheat, a genetically modified strain that is resistant to drought. The approval comes amid fears over the global food supply and regional dry weather.
The wheat strain, produced by Argentine agribusiness firm Bioceres HB4 and its partner Tropical Melhoramento e Genética, improves yields by more than 40% in environments with severe water stress, according to the company. The approval makes Brazil the second country to allow this type of crop after Argentina. The company expects interest in the product to increase significantly.
The approval follows a rigorous review process and comes on top of the green light given to the use of flour made from GM wheat in November 2021. The Brazilian Association of the Biscuit, Pasta, and Bread and Cake Industry initially opposed GM wheat, but now claims that its release for commercial cultivation in the country may allow expansion of the domestic supply of the cereal. Brazil’s flour millers industry group, Abitrigo, said the approval has brought peace of mind to the different market players, although the final word will rest with consumers.
The decision also opens the way for marketing in Argentina through channels other than BioCeres’ identity-preserved HB4.
Leave a Reply