Argentina is the first country in the world to give the green light to a strain of GM wheat - granting approval to the HB-4 drought resistant GMO wheat by biotech firm Bioceres SA.
Whereas the genetic modification of corn and soybeans has been more accepted, the same is not true for wheat, which is grown primarily for human consumption as opposed to animal feed like corn and soybeans.
In a statement announcing the government’s decision to approve the strain, Argentina’s science and technology ministry noted that HB-4 technology creates seeds that are more drought tolerant which will minimize production losses and offer great predictability of yields.
No other countries have yet to grant approval for imports of GMO products, and Bioceres stated that it will begin marketing HB-4 once Brazil, the largest importer of Argentine wheat, gives its approval. Last year, 45 percent of the 11.3 million tons of wheat harvested in Argentina was shipped to Brazil.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.