February 27, 2007
Biotechnology still a complicated issue in Brazil
Despite the approval of Brazil's Biosafety Law (#11,105 on March 24, 2005), followed by the signing of Presidential Decree (#5,591 on November 22, 2005), which implemented the new law, agricultural biotechnology continues to be a difficult issue in Brazil. All sectors are divided on how to approach, conduct research on, and approve commercial applications for biotech products. The centre of controversy is now the two-thirds vote requirement for approval of biotech events by the National Technical Commission of Biosafety (CTNBio).
CTNBio is a board of 27 members linked to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) that approves imported and locally produced biotech products. Environmentalists and anti-biotech groups are boycotting the approvals of biotech events which affect the interests of foreign companies in the country, particularly Monsanto.
CTNBio's meeting in February was concluded with no approval of biotech events due to pressures of environmentalists especially Greenpeace. Authorities and lawmakers are now scrambling to regain stability amid protests to clarify issues pertaining to biotechnology.
For the full USDA report, please click here