Argentina becomes the first country to approve the growth and consumption of genetically modified wheat, announced the country’s agriculture ministry. The ministry’s scientific commission said in a statement that Buenos Aires had approved a drought-resistant variety of wheat in the world’s fourth-largest exporter of the crop.
“This is the first approval in the world for drought-tolerant genetic transformation in wheat,” said in a statement. Experts expressed concern about the growth and marketing of genetically modified crops, citing difficulties in marketing such produce to consumers concerned about their effect on health and the environment.
The drought-resistant HB4 wheat variety was developed by Argentine biotechnology company Bioceres, working with the National University. “Approval of our HB4 wheat in Argentina represents a groundbreaking milestone for the entire global value chain of this important crop, given the substantial yield increases and significant environmental benefits that our technology offers,” said official. “Now we must go out into the world and convince people that this is super good and be able to generate markets for this wheat, which represents an evolutionary leap.”