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Brazil Approves Release of Monsanto’s Transgenic Corn Under Protests

Corn Brazil's National Biosafety Technical Committee (CTNBio) approved this Thursday, August 16, the commercial release of the transgenic corn Guardian, which has been developed by the multinational company Monsanto. The product, resistant to insects, is the second kind of genetically modified corn to be authorized for commercialization by the CTNBio.

Activists from the peasant organization Via Campesina protested against the measure during the meeting to approve the new seed, which took place in the Science and Technology Ministry building in Brazilian capital Brasília. They held signs saying among other things: "Don't contaminate Biodiversity," and "CNTBio does harm to Brazil."
 
The final result was 15 votes in favor of the approval against one against it. The only vote contrary to the measure was the one from the Environment Ministry representative, Rubens Nodari.

This is the fourth release of genetically modified seeds, for planting in Brazil. In May, the same commission had approved Bayer's corn Libertlink.
 
A preliminary order from Paraná state's Federal Justice had determined that CTNBio should not consider any request of commercial release for GMOs (genetically modified organisms) before devising monitoring rules. The CNTBio presented these rules just a few hours before the voting process.

Monsanto Company welcomed the CTNBio's result. The approved product is known in the United States as YieldGard Corn Borer.

The regulatory process in Brazil is a multi-step process, and while other steps are still required, the Committee's decision brings the technology closer to reality for Brazilian farmers.

"We're pleased with the decision of CTNBio," said Brett Begemann, Executive Vice President of International Commercial for Monsanto Company. "While more regulatory reviews remain ahead, we can look forward to providing Brazilian farmers with access to the yield benefits of our trait technologies in combination with our higher-yield seed offerings."

Begemann added, "These same technologies have helped other growers increase their productivity and profitability for more than ten years in countries around the world, including Argentina."

CTNBio is managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology and is charged with making science-based, technical assessments of biotechnology crops including commercial conditions of use.

The CTNBio approval may be followed by a review from the National Biosafety Council (CNBS) to examine social and economic factors. Following a favorable review by CNBS, and approvals of the individual MON 810 events in specific hybrid varieties, farmers will be able to plant these higher-yielding seeds.

Corn is the third most planted crop in the world and Brazil ranks third in the world based on harvested area.

Corn hybrids that include the MON 810 event express a naturally occurring protein called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, that helps the corn plant protect itself from feeding damage caused by harmful insects, including corn borer.

According to Monsanto, using biotechnology traits to help the plant protect itself from insect damage helps farmers increase yields and reduce the application of pesticides. The MON 810 trait was first introduced in the United States in 1997.

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Bruno

    After taking over the US cereal market by putting MONSANTO people directly inside key position at the FDA, Monsanto have been harming hundred of people in India, where producer commite suicide after acknowledging to be slave of buying seeds and pesticide from Monsanto’s affiliates, for prices reaching 4 times the cost of normal and clean seeds.
    There is enough proof right now earth that OMG plants are harmful for the human and definitely not meeting the say of Higher yields , less us of pesticide etc.
    It is very sad to see that Brazilian politics can be so easy to be bought, facts are showing negaitve results in people life, but certainly positive result for Monsanto.
    Problem is the contamination of those OMG plants to the natural species.
    where to we stand to accept this monopole of destruction.

  • william3

    Programmer
    The science of transgenic engineering is still in its early infancy, and there is much that we simply do not know.

    In my opinion, it is unconscionable that government regulatory bodies allow genetically engineered seeds to be so widely disseminated by Monsanto and other plant biotechs.

    There is enough evidence that casts doubt on the health safety of GMO’s, but even without it, ‘absence of proof’ is not ‘proof of absence’ – especially with a new and potentially dangerous technology that heavily impacts the world food supply.

    It is up to the people, the real power in any society, to be informed and to demand a healthy, nutritious food supply. At least demand mandatory labeling for GMO-based foods, like what exists in the EU.

  • ch.c.

    Hopefully……
    …..Brazil will not oblige Switzerland and the EU to accept such products if we dont like them for whatever well known reasons !
    Otherwise we will oblige you to include low quality and GM Emmenthal…..into your daily food, including your national feijado !!!

    -;-))))

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