Brazilian Committee’s Approval of GM Corn Draws Criticism

    Corn plantation in Brazil

    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:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Brazil: FTAA, Hopes and Fears

    Donna Hrinak, US Ambassador to Brazil, is confident that the FTAA will go into ...

    Brazil Wants to Reduce Its Trade Deficit with Algeria by Building Houses

    Brazil’s Minister of Development, Industry and External Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, said today that ...

    US Senators in Brazil to Learn How Ethanol is Made and Distributed

    A group of American senators begin a week-long visit to Brazil this Friday, April ...

    Russia’s 50% Discount Allowed Brazil to Send Its First Astronaut into Space

    On March 22, Brazil will, for the first time, send an astronaut, lieutenant-coronel Marco ...

    Learning to survive and thrive in Brazil

    For Americans relocating to Brazil the move is frequently a cultural shock. How do ...

    Underwear made by Janimar in Brazil

    Bamboo Underwear, Another Ecologically Friendly Brazilian Product

    Janimar, a garment manufacturer from the city of Caxias do Sul, in the southernmost ...

    Nova Coari Radio, in Amazonas, Brazil

    Brazil Radio Station Set on Fire for 3rd Time. Mayor Main Suspect

    Brazilian Nova Coari radio, in Amazonas state, in northern Brazil, was set on fire ...

    Brazil Congress Gets 3 Extra Months for Expelling House Members

    A vote on the floor of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, on Wednesday, December 7, ...

    Tupinambá Indians in Bahia, Brazil

    Brazil: Bahia’s Elite Preventing Indians from Getting Land

    The torture case of five Brazilian Tupinambá Indians in the state of Bahia, in ...

    Santos port in São Paulo, Brazil

    Brazil Trade Balance Surplus Falls 64%

    The trade balance surplus (exports minus imports) in April was US$ 1.744 billion, according ...