Crop Biotech Update

Brazil Sugar Mills Start Planting GM Sugarcane

March 7, 2018

Around 100 sugar mills in Brazil have started planting the first commercialized variety of GM sugarcane. Developed by Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC) to be resistant from cane borer, the GM sugarcane has been initially planted on 400 hectares (988 acres) of land. 

Cane borer is a common pest in Brazilian sugar mills, which costs US$1.5 billion of losses and insecticide expense annually. One of the solutions to the pest problem suggested by experts was to plant insect resistant sugarcane. It is projected to improve yields, reduce production cost, and increase profit. In June 2017, the National Biosafety Technical Commission approved Bt sugarcane after proving that the sugar and ethanol obtained from it are identical to the conventional sugarcane. Studies also showed that the Bt gene and protein were completely eliminated from sugarcane products after processing. Environmental studies further showed that Bt sugarcane does not cause negative effects.

Read more from BIO Smart Brief and CTC