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Brazil OKs first GM eucalyptus

The Brazilian national technical commission for biosafety, the CTNBio, has approved what would become the world’s first genetically modified eucalyptus product. The recommended green light for Susana Papel e Celulose's subsidiary biotechnology company, FuturaGene Brasil Tecnologia’s (Sao Paulo), output trait H421 eucalyptus requires ratification from a government panel before commercialisation. The product is engineered to increase wood production. It would make Brazil the global pioneer for such products, the Ministry of Science and Technology notes. CTNBio president Edivaldo Velini underlines the length and detail of the product’s approval process. “Some technology such as this one is analysed and sent to the CTNBio for as long as eight years before making the agenda of our [decisive] meeting.” The process which included various studies and a public debate was “extremely open and transparent”, he adds. The CTNBio approval came at its April meeting.

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