BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina on Friday formally became the first country in the world to approve the use of drought-resistant genetically modified (GMO) wheat, prompting fierce criticism by the country’s massive export agriculture industry.
HB4 wheat is resistant to drought and tolerates the herbicide glufosinate sodium, a combination the company says can help boost yields on dry years. But the government said the product cannot be sold before Brazil, Argentina’s biggest wheat buyer, approves its importation.
Last year, 45% of the 11.3 million tonnes of wheat exported by Argentina went to neighboring Brazil, which has not commented on the prospects of it approving the purchase of HB4 wheat.
Many farm groups in Argentina objected to the government’s approval of the product, over concerns it could prove a stigma for exporters.
“Not only are wheat and flour exports put at risk, but also pellets, starch, gluten, baked goods, noodles