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Crop Biotech Update

USDA FAS-GAIN Reports Agri-biotech Updates in Latin America

December 7, 2016

The USDA FAS Global Agricultural Information Network released updates on the status of agricultural biotechnology in several countries in Latin America.

According to the report, Chile is the fifth largest producer of seeds (biotech and non-biotech seeds) globally. It does not require GE products labeling. If Chile could produce GE products commercially, it could be a viable producer of transgenic sugar beets, corn, and alfalfa.

Colombia continues to adopt biotech crops. However, the area planted with biotech crops was reduced due to high production costs and lower international prices.

In Ecuador, the field trial of GE corn was announced by the Ministries of Agriculture and Industries in October 2016. The National Institute for Agricultural Research INIAP will be in charge of conducting the research.

GE corn field trials have been completed in El Salvador. However, no regulatory framework is in place to allow commercialization of the crop in the country.

Guatemala continues to allow field trials of GE crops and seed production for export, but not for food use in the country. Even with high malnutrition rates and low corn production, Guatemala still does not have a comprehensive regulation for food products improved through biotechnology .

Honduras continues to adopt biotech crops, which have increased in hectarage by 13 percent.

Read the reports on EcuadorColombiaChileGuatemalaEl Salvador, and Honduras from USDA FAS.