(Adds industry group quotes, information on GM corn producers
SAO PAULO Oct 6 Brazil's biosafety commission
CTNBio approved on Thursday imports of three genetically
modified (GM) varieties of corn from the United States for
animal feed production, said the government and the poultry and
pork industry group ABPA.
The measure will facilitate U.S. corn exports to Brazil,
said ABPA, adding it will help mitigate tight corn supplies
after a harsh drought severely cut production this year, and
forced the animal growers to import corn from Argentina.
The Brazilian biosafety commission approved two GM corn
varieties produced by Monsanto Co and one developed by
Brazil already cultivates and processes genetically modified
organisms, but varieties that are not planted in the country
need a greenlight from CTNBio to be imported and processed.
Francisco Turra, head of ABPA, said Thursday negotiations
between Brazilian pork and poultry processors and U.S. corn
traders were already under way, but any purchases hinged on the
import approval for the three corn varieties.
Turra said U.S. GM corn could help supply the local market
through January, when Brazil's next corn crop starts being sold
"That does not mean we would import large quantities," Turra
said, adding that the measure gives the sector flexibility at
times of tight supplies.
Earlier this year, the Brazilian government lifted taxes on
corn imports from outside of the Mercosur trade bloc to mitigate
the issue of low supplies.
(Reporting by Gustavo Bonato; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira;
Editing by Ana Mano and Lisa Shumaker)