Government Regulators Approve Genetically Modified Corn from the US
Brazil’s poultry industry is among the most productive in the world. Yet it cannot maintain this status if chickens are not fed. Feeding chickens has been particularly challenging this year as the Brazilian economy continues to struggle and drought conditions plague grain production. Consequently, there has not been enough animal feed to sustain the poultry industry at customary levels.
One solution is to make up for the shortfall in Brazilian animal feed with imports from the United States and Argentina. But according to Bloomberg News, Brazilian companies have been hesitant to buy American varieties because they are concerned that Brazilian regulations governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will leave import shipments in limbo. Though Brazil already plants and harvests its own genetically modified crops, varieties that do not come from Brazil need approval from the biosafety commission CTNBio to be imported and processed.
Regulators are now cutting through some of that red tape. CTNBio recently approved imports of three genetically modified corn varieties from the United States. Reuters also reported that regulators have approved the import of two genetically modified varieties produced by Monsanto and one from Syngenta.
But not all animal production companies are thrilled with getting genetically modified corn from the United States. Poultry producers in northeast Brazil are simply too worried to buy the corn from the United States. Others are interested, but tell Reuters they are locked into contracts to import shiploads from Argentina.
The ability to adequately feed chickens is of particular importance for the Brazilian economy. The country’s poultry industry is the world’s biggest exporter of meat, according to Bloomberg. The news service says that some grain traders are weighing whether to seek government approval of additional genetically modified crops that are not currently allowed. As policymakers and regulators consider ways to stimulate Brazil’s stagnant economy, easing restrictions on genetically modified crops could be one way to support the country’s animal production industries.