Brazil plans to export genetically modified sugarcane to China

16 May 2019

Brazil’s Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply Minister will ask the Chinese authorities to allow sugar produced from genetically modified sugarcane to be exported to the country, according to statements made on Wednesday in Beijing.

Minister Tereza Cristina Corrêa told Reuters that the matter will be discussed during a visit to China’s General Customs Administration this week and that she will argue that the sugar produced does not contain any traces of the genes that have been modified in order for the can to resist pests and disease.

Brazil’s Sugarcane Technology Centre has developed a genetically modified sugarcane variety that is resistant to the borer (Diatraea saccharalis), the main pest that threatens the crop. The Brazilian government has approved its commercial use and the US Food and Drug Administration concluded that the consumption of that type of sugar is safe.

Corrêa said that she would also raise the issue of 79 cold stores that have not yet been authorised to export beef, pork and chicken to China, as to date only 10 have been inspected by the Chinese authorities.

The minister also said that Brazil is one of the few countries able to supply China with sufficient quantities of pork when the country sees a drop in pork production, which is expected to occur this year due to the outbreak of African swine fever.

The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil began a visit to China on Monday, and in Shanghai, she attended a number of meetings and events to promote Brazilian products that could be exported. (Macauhub)