Brazil gives go-ahead to GM corns

Published: Saturday 15 March 2008

Despite objections from environmental and consumer groups, Brazil has authorized commercial use of two varieties of genetically modified (gm) corn.

On February 12, the National Biosecurity Council, comprising 11 cabinet ministers, gave the final clearance for planting and sale of the gm corn varieties in the country. The varieties are herbicide-tolerant corn LibertyLink, produced by German group Bayer, and a pest-resistant corn mon 810, produced by the us biotech company Monsanto. The approved seeds are safe for human and animal consumption, and for the environment, said science and technology minister Sergio Rezende. Soon after the announcement, the agriculture ministry raised its forecast for corn output this year to a record 53.6 million tonnes.

Detractors say the government has acted with "great irresponsibility".

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