Argentina's Bioceres says GMO wheat gets OK from U.S. FDA



By Jorgelina do Rosario and Tom Polansek

LONDON/CHICAGO, June 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded a review of Argentine biotechnology firm Bioceres' BIOX.BA genetically modified (GMO) wheat without further questions, a "key step" to commercializing it in the United States, the company said on Monday.

While corn and soy crops used predominantly to feed livestock are commonly planted with GMO seeds, consumers have long opposed GMO wheat for human consumption.

Bioceres says sentiment is changing with food prices soaring due to the Ukraine war, as genetically modified crops can survive drought and pests, reducing the risk of famine.

The FDA did not respond to a request for comment. The drought-resistant HB4 wheat would still need to be cleared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The FDA oversees the safety of food from new GMO crops before they enter the market, while the USDA reviews the impact on agriculture and the environment.

The FDA's voluntary consultation process relies on crop developers' own data, consumer advocates said.

The process can give comfort to food companies that may one day use the wheat, though the FDA relies on the company's position that it is safe, said Greg Jaffe, biotechnology project director for the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"It's better than nothing," Jaffe said.

Bioceres said the voluntary consultation program is a "key step towards commercial establishment in the United States" and that it is awaiting USDA approval.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which regulates genetically engineered crops, said it does not have a petition from Bioceres.

The USDA could exempt a GMO crop from regulatory review in as little as 120 days if officials determine it does not pose an increased risk for plant pests, said Bill Freese, scientific director for the Center for Food Safety, an advocacy group.

Otherwise, a review could take more than a year, he said.

Bioceres said it plans to seek planting approvals next year in Australia, which has approved the sale and use of foods that contain HB4 wheat. Brazil is testing the variety.
Reporting by Jorgelina do Rosario in London and Caroline Stauffer and Tom Polansek in Chicago; Writing by Adam Jourdan and Tom Polansek, editing by Deepa Babington

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.