Unwelcome move

Brazil approves of transgenic crops

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Brazil has broken its ban on genetically engineered crops by approving of Monsanto's transgenic Roundup Ready soybean seeds. This decision will open up the world's second largest soybean producer to modified crops. Monsanto's herbicide-resistant seeds will be regulated like any other agricultural product, although a decision has yet to be taken on the labelling of transgenic soybeans and derived products.

The country's National Commission for Biological Security announced the ruling on September 24. Luis Antonio Abramides Do Val, director of regulatory affairs at Monsanto's local unit, said: "We have been working to get this approved since 1994. Now our product should be treated like any other soybean." However, the approval does not alter a court injunction granted recently that prevents transgenic beans from being planted in the country. Monsanto is hoping to overturn the ruling. Once the company is allowed to plant Roundup Ready beans. Monsanto estimates it will immediately control between two per cent and four per cent of Brazil's soybean market, a figure it expects to rise to 20 per cent within three years.

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