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Brazilian govt authorizes Tocantins to plant Bt cotton
Jan '14
The Brazilian state of Tocantins has been authorized to plant genetically modified cotton (Bt cotton) as the state has been officially removed from the Exclusion Zone of the planting of genetically modified cotton set by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) based on the research of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA).
According to a statement issued by MAPA, a decree signed recently by the Agriculture Minister Antonio Andrade published in the Official Gazette of Brazil officially removes the state from the Exclusion Zone and authorizes planting of transgenic cotton in the state.
The Decree No. 21/2005 issued by the Ministry had forbidden the entire northern region of Brazil, which included Tocantins and parts of Maranho, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, to cultivate genetically modified cotton in order to avoid intersections with conventional species of cotton.
Juliana Ribeiro Alexandre, Federal Fiscal Coordination of Agricultural Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organism, said when the Brazilian Government first authorized the cultivation of genetically modified cotton it was decided by the National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) that it could not be planted in certain areas to prevent the transfer of genes to native varieties, and these areas were called the Exclusion Zone.
However, the state of Tocantins shows great possibility of the use of new transgenic cultivars, which led the government of Tocantins to request review of the decree, she added.
Ms. Alexandre explained that the CTNBio, through studies from EMBRAPA on the distribution of native varieties of cotton in the state, concluded that the cultivation of transgenic cotton did not pose a threat to the maintenance of native varieties of the crop in the state.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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