GM fightback in Brazil gives organic hope

Organic Research Centre

GM fightback in Brazil gives organic hope

Brazilian farmers and traders endorse non-GM crop body

Is a backlash against GM crops beginning to grow in Brazil? Until recently such a question would have been unthinkable, but now a group of growers and traders have launched a trade body promoting non-GM grains and seeds.

Meeting at the Iguazu Falls earlier this Autumn, the new group was officially launched and constituted as the Brazilian Association for the Producers of Non Genetically Modified Grains (ABRANGE). It includes grain and seed producers, co-operatives, milling industries, transport and warehousing companies, certification organisations as well as research laboratories and others. “Our aim is to encourage the growing, production development and processing of non GM grains in Brazil”, says the elected President, Borges de Sousa of Caramuru Alimentos.

One of the most important priorities of ABRANGE is to promote initiatives to increase the consumption as well as to develop and improve the quality of non-GM products. It also wants to enhance non-GM sustainability in terms of production and the environment along with social responsibility and information flows to customers about the regular and consistent supply that can be achieved from Brazilian non-GM grains and their derivatives.

A key practical step, says executive secretary Tatesuzu de Sousa, is to develop robust certification and supply chain connections for our national and international clients, so that they can have real trust in Brazilian non-GM crops and products. To that end a priority for ABRANGE is the creation of a reference consulting centre.

“This news from Brazil could have real significance for organic producers across the EU. If ABRANGE is successful in certifying and marketing significant volumes of non-GM grains out of Brazil then a key plank in the argument that Europe must accept GM penetration from maize and soya imports (because there is no choice) is removed,” says Organic Research Centre senior policy researcher Richard Sanders.

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