Brazil assesses GM eucalyptus for sale
Brazil has initiated assessment for commercial release of genetically modified eucalyptus. The H421 trait increases cellulose productivity by 20%, applicant Suzano Pulp and Paper’s Brazilian plant genetics subsidiary, FuturaGene (Sao Paulo), says. The national technical commission for biosafety, the CTNBio, held a public meeting this month to discuss the potential approval of the GM product. Beekeeper groups were among those participating, raising concerns of harmful effects on bees from the plants and complaining that the honey they produce would need labelling as GMO-containing for exports. FuturaGene studies submitted to the authorities claim that the product is safe for users and the environment, media report. Brazil could become the world’s first country to plant GM eucalyptus on a commercial scale.