Argentina approved 35 GMO crops in 20 years
Apr. 1, 2016
Commemorating 20 years of its first law regarding genetically-modified seed, Argentina has authorized the use of a total of 35 GMO varieties without planting the most of them. The RR soybeans, the first transgenic variety approved and resistant to glyphosate , continues to be the most used.
In March 1996, Argentina approved the use of transgenic seed some months after the United States. Throughout these years, the speed of the approvals was reduced due to commercial and political reasons, but also because the technological advancing was slower than expected. Currently, the market leadership of Monsanto is threatened by Nidera. With more resistant plagues, the companies have developed varieties that improved the level of tolerance to glyphosate and sometimes offer resistance to other herbicides.
The National Commission Advisory of Agricultural Biotechnology, which regulates the subject since 1991, approved five transgenic varieties during the Menem administration (1989-1999), two at the Fernando de La Rúa administration (1999-2001), four at the Nestor Kichner government (2003-2007) and 24 with the government of Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015).
For soybeans, there are eight transgenic seeds available in Argentina that generally seed tolerance to herbicide. On corn, there are 22 transgenic events, four other varieties of cotton and one potato seed. In the case of corn, the GMO offers resistance to insects and herbicides.
The only genetically-modified seeds that were developed in Argentina were the drought-resistant soybeans, owned by Rosario-based company Indear, and a virus-resistant potato developed by Tecnoplant, a company owned by the Sidus group. The goal of the local production has a different focus because it produces varieties not aimed to tolerant to herbicides or plagues.
Monsanto has 11 transgenic varieties in the South American country, followed by Syngenta with seven varieties, Dow AgroSciences (four), Bayer (three) and DuPont Pioneer (three). Other seven licenses are owned by other seven companies.
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