Brazilian Committee’s Approval of GM Corn Draws Criticism

Corn plantation in Brazil Brazil's biosafety committee has approved two sets of guidelines governing the use of genetically modified (GM) corn, despite criticism from within its ranks. The Brazilian National Biosafety Technical Committee (CTNBio), which oversees the use of GM organisms in the country, approved plans for monitoring and coexistence.

The creation of the plans was a condition for the commercial release of GM corn, which was set in motion in May when CTNBio approved the commercial release of the GM corn 'LibertyLink', developed by Bayer CropScience.

The coexistence plan allows GM and non-GM corn to coexist in the same field. It establishes a minimum distance – 100 meters (328 feet) – between GM and non-GM corn grown for commercial use.

A shorter distance of 20 meters (66 feet) is allowed if they are separated by a ten-row vegetable 'fence', made up of plants of a size and growth cycle similar to that of corn. No details of the monitoring plan are yet available. The two sets of rules will act as orientation guidelines for companies.

The president of CTNBio, Walter Colli, said the issues were discussed thoroughly before the decision was made, according to a news story from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

However, the decision has drawn criticism from seven of the 27 members of CTNBio, who abandoned the meeting in protest over both the approval of the plans and the way voting was performed.

According to them, their requests to assess the issue more carefully were not considered. Contrary to Colli's statement, they say the discussion was led in a "fast and superficial way." 

Discussions concentrated on addressing the commercial release of GM corn, they say, rather than dealing with biosafety considerations.

In a letter issued to the press, the seven said, "Biosecurity must not be confused with the explicit flag of 'adopting transgenics' in the country. We cannot vote without considering the precaution principle and the interests of the Brazilian society."

The 11-member National Council on Biosecurity will now assess the plans.
CTNBio has also approved the commercial growth of another variety of GM corn, Monsanto Brazil's 'Guardian', resistant to Lepidoptera insects.

SciDev.Net

Tags:

You May Also Like

Profit-Taking Time in Brazil and LatAm

Brazilian and Latin American markets reversed their recent positive course and succumbed to selling ...

How Brazil Fooled the Whole World on AIDS

The World Bank’s forecast in the decade of the ’80’s about the growth in ...

Standard and Poors Rates Brazil a Notch Higher

Latin American markets were mixed to lower, this Tuesday, with Mexican stocks following Wall ...

Brazil Wants Its Biodiesel Program to Be One of Social Inclusion

Contracts between Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras and four biodiesel refineries are expected to ...

Brazilian Congress Opens Door to Business-Friendly Reforms

Brazilian equities were little changed, following recent strength. Brazil’s market ebbed, as investors largely ...

UN: ‘Only Joint Effort Can Cure Brazil’s Crime Epidemy’

Leandro Despouy, special rapporteur for the United Nations (UN) Commission on Human Rights, said, ...

Brazil Cuts in Half Number of Extremely Poor

Seven years before the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Brazil is showing ...

Organic Market Is Mere 2% in Brazil

Resources from Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture for the organic farming sector will amount to US$ ...

Brazil’s Lula Is No Friend of Science

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration can be accused of not being ...

Brazilian Market Srongly Rebounds

Latin American markets rallied, following weakness throughout the first three sessions of the week. ...

WordPress database error: [Table './brazzil3_live/wp_wfHits' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
SHOW FULL COLUMNS FROM `wp_wfHits`