Time to rethink genetically modified wheat?

It’s safe. It would help farmers deal with drought, support biodiversity, protect the environment and decrease a farms carbon footprint. It would help consumers cope with inflation and pay their food bills.

So why aren’t we growing genetically modified wheat?

We’re asking this question again because of the news from South America late last year that Brazil will accept the importation of genetically modified wheat flour from Argentina.

This is an enormous step, marking the first time anywhere in the world that a regulatory agency has approved such a move. Bloomberg called it “the most critical milestone for genetically modified wheat to date.”

Other countries may follow. Australia and New Zealand are reviewing genetically modified wheat. The UK has started field trials for gene-edited wheat. Other countries also are interested.

Huge hurdles remain. Farmers in Argentina are now growing thousands of acres of HB4 wheat, genetically modified for drought tolerance, but Brazilian millers are skeptical. They worry that consumers don’t want food derived from genetically modified wheat.

What happens next is anyone’s guess.

Perhaps it makes sense to review the facts—and to think about a better future.

Read more of this post on The Global Farmer Network.

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