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FDA approves Brazilian genetically modified sugarcane

08/08/2018 - 13h01

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MARCELO TOLEDO
RIBEIRÃO PRETO

The US Food and Drug Administration declared on Tuesday (7) that sugar produced from genetically modified (GM) sugarcane is safe for consumption.

This variety is resistant to the sugarcane borer, a pest that brings annual losses of R$ 5 billion (US $ 1.3 billion) to the sugar and energy industries.

In March, Health Canada had already approved the Brazilian GM sugarcane, which was developed by Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC, or Sugarcane Technology Center), a privately owned research institution. Now, CTC is awaiting Japan's approval.

These three markets are considered important due to their scientifically rigorous approval processes.

CTC's GM sugarcane, the first of its kind, was approved for commercial use in June 2017 by the Brazilian government. The approval took 7.5 years of studies.

"We started the international approval process in several countries, especially the ones that import sugarcane. Having a positive evaluation regarding safety and sugar quality is very important," said Viler Correa Janeiro, director for cellulosic ethanol and corporate affairs at CTC.

Indonesia, India and Russia also received the product's technical info. Currently, Brazil exports sugar to 150 countries.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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