The approval was issued by Brazil's National Technical Commission of Biosecurity (CTNBio) in response to a request filed by plant genetics firm Tropical Melhoramento e Genetica (TMG). Based in Brazil's Mato Grosso state, TMG is the partner of Argentinian company Bioceres – which developed the approved HB4 wheat strain.
TMG noted that Brasilia's approval gave the green light for commercial cultivation of the HB4 GM wheat strain in the Portuguese-speaking nation. Bioceres pointed out that CTNBio's approval of the HB4 GM wheat strain has opened the Brazilian market to the technology.
Brazil plants about three million hectares (741,316 acres) with wheat, mostly in southern states like Rio Grande do Sul and Parana. Farmers in those states may be interested in wheat that is drought-tolerant because crops such as maize and soy grown in Brazil's south have experienced water stress.
However, the approval only applies to the cultivation of the strain and not for domestic consumption. Other countries such as the U.S., Colombia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Nigeria have allowed HB4 for both human and animal consumption. HB4 is only permitted for use in animal feed in Indonesia.
According to Bioceres, GM wheat showed higher yields compared to conventional varieties. Targeted environments showed as much as 43 percent yield improvement.
While Brazil may not immediately begin growing GM wheat, Brasilia's approval reflects a significant shift in attitude given the concerns about the world's wheat supply following the Russia-Ukraine war. (Related: Australia to unleash genetically modified wheat - who will burn down these fields and stop this human rights horror?)
The use of GM corn and soy varieties for animal feed, biofuels and ingredients such as cooking oil is a common practice. However, GM wheat has never been grown for commercial purposes. Consumer fears about potential allergies or toxicities in the GM version of the staple crop used for breads, pastas and pastries have held back any plans of commercial cultivation.
At least two food associations in the Portuguese-speaking nation welcomed CTNBio's decision to approve the HB4 GM wheat cultivation.
One such association, Abimapi – which represents Brazilian biscuit, pasta, bread and cake makers – lauded the move as one that could potentially increase internal supplies, This, it added, could reduce industry costs.
Abimapi was previously against GM wheat. However, it changed its stance following the results of a survey it commissioned, with more than 70 percent of Brazilians saying they would not mind consuming products that contained GM wheat.
Abitrigo, the country's industry group for flour millers, also lauded the decision. It said the approval solves "the risk of regulatory conflicts" because flour imports were permitted even before the HB4 GM wheat strain was effectively cleared in Brazil. Back in November 2021, Brazil became the first nation in the world to allow imports of flour made with GM wheat.
"The approval for planting, imports and commercialization of GM wheat resolves this issue, bringing peace of mind to different market actors," Abitrigo said in a statement. "The final word will rest with consumers."
While Abimapi and Abitrigo see potential benefits with the approval of GM wheat, Brazilians could see potential health issues with such "Franken-crops." A September 2018 article from NaturalHealth365 elaborated on the harms of food made with GM ingredients.
According to the piece, the genetic modification can introduce or elevate allergens, toxins and anti-nutrients that would otherwise be absent in unmodified crops. The effects of the biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and the toxic weedkiller glyphosate can also be blamed for the issues linked to GM food.
Experts have raised concern that Bt – which creates small holes in the intestines of pests – could have the same effect in the human digestive systems. Moreover, animals given feed made from GM soy have shown potentially cancerous cell growths and increased inflammation in their stomachs.
Visit GMO.news for more stories about GM wheat.
Listen to Robert Scott Bell talk about GM wheat escaping Monsanto's experimental fields and contaminating the U.S. wheat supply below.
This video is from the Natural News channel on Brighteon.com.