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Scope of HB4 wheat approval in Paraguay
Posttime: 2023-07-13    Author: Shandong CYNDA (Group) Co., Ltd.

The approval for the HB4 technology in wheat in Paraguay will mean another tool for the producer in cases where drought conditions occur during the crop cycle.

The HB4 gene comes from the Sunflower and helps plants to better face situations of lack of moisture during their vegetative development.

The current climate change situation puts global food production at risk, and HB4 technology seeks to provide a tool to face these new challenges.



It is important to highlight that this approval means leaving the biosafety conditions in which a genetic transformation event is evaluated. This would allow the introduction of the HB4 event to wheat improvement programs from the present juncture so that in the near future, around four to five years, if it complies with the regulations related to seeds, ( Law 385/94 ) there would be wheat varieties ready to be produced and their seeds commercialized.

The process to reach the approval of HB4 wheat in Paraguay began in 2015, when Bioceres, the company that owns the HB4 technology, submitted the request to the National Commission for Agricultural and Forestry Biosafety (CONBIO), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and in May 2023 the permit for the commercial release of the aforementioned technology was granted.

The development of the HB4 technology has taken more than 20 years of evaluations. HB4 wheat underwent an in-depth characterization, confirming its safety and agronomic, compositional, and nutritional equivalence with non-transgenic wheat.

Approval to a genetically modified (GM) technology for commercialization in Paraguay goes through a risk assessment process that includes environmental, human and animal nutrition, and safety aspects. All this process is comparatively with its non-genetically modified pair.  

The results of these studies were presented to various regulatory agencies. The required additional studies were conducted during the evaluation processes completed by them, and all of them confirmed the safety of HB4 wheat. Thus, in recent years, HB4 wheat has been approved in ten countries, such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Indonesia, among others.

In addition to drought tolerance (provided by the HAHB4 protein, a natural sunflower), HB4 wheat is tolerant to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, a technology that has been used safely for 20 years.



However, using this herbicide is not required to obtain the benefits provided by HB4 wheat. This characteristic was included in it as a marker to identify the presence of the drought-tolerant gene. Therefore, glufosinate is more of a breeding tool, originating for the producer an option in the control of weeds.

Glufosinate ammonium is an authorized herbicide widely used in Paraguay in various crops, including corn. Currently, nine approved events grant tolerance to glufosinate ammonium, eight of them in corn.

Transgenic products have been part of the food production chain for more than 25 years, and during this time, they have confirmed their benefits and the safety of their use.

In Paraguay, experience has also shown the benefits of using genetically modified crops, which producers have adopted. A study carried out by the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (INBIO) details both economic and social benefits, as well as the environmental benefits of production with genetically modified crops. This study shows that using these type of crops contribute to the sustainability of agricultural production.  from AgroPages


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