Business

GM wheat from Argentina sparks clash between Brazil and green associations

Brazil imports most of its wheat from Argentina, but the prospect of purchasing genetically modified crops has led to massive pushback from civil society and environmental organizations

Wheat harvest. Photo: Jair Ferreira Belafacce/Shutterstock
Wheat harvest. Photo: Jair Ferreira Belafacce/Shutterstock

Known as one of the “world’s granaries,” Brazil is among the biggest global exporters of agricultural products. However, while the country sells massive amounts of soybeans, corn, and sugar, there is a very different story when it comes to wheat.

In the last harvest, Brazil produced roughly 5.5 million tons of wheat, but domestic consumption topped 12.5 million tons. More than half of this total was imported from other countries, particularly Argentina, Uruguay, and the U.S., according to the Brazilian Wheat Industry Association (Abitrigo).

With Brazil’s low domestic production, wheat has become something of a bargaining chip in South American...

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