Argentina Planting GM Wheat Could Increase U.S. Wheat Exports to Brazil
Argentina has planted as much as 60,000 hectares of genetically modified wheat designed to better withstand drought. This acreage has the potential to have a harvest totaling 200,000 tons.
Brazil typically buys 46 percent of Argentina’s total wheat production, however, Brazilian importers are concerned that the inclusion of GM wheat in Argentina’s output could result in pushback from Brazilian consumers.
Transgenic wheat is not yet authorized for human consumption in any country. However, last year, Argentina authorized the commercialization of GM wheat for its domestic market. And is awaiting export authorization approval from Brazil.
If Argentina allows for the full commercial cultivation and export of GM wheat, Brazil’s mills are threatening to suspend imports from the neighboring country, with the leading representative group for importers and mills petitioning the country’s National Technical Commission for Biosafety (CTNBio) to reject any application for human or animal consumption of the GM wheat, and has asked the country’s Ministry of Agriculture to adopt rules to block its entry into the country.
Such moves by Argentina could result in Brazil turning to other sources for its wheat imports such as the U.S., Ukraine, or Canada.