Argentina’s campaign to change worldwide opinions about genetically modified wheat gained ground after Australia, a major grower and exporter of the crop, authorized the drought-tolerant variety HB4 for food use.
The next step for Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp., the business working to deliver HB4 to the global market, is to secure the go-ahead for planting. The similar method is being used by the Argentina-based corporation to gain recognition in other countries.
Australia’s approval, which also covers New Zealand, is significant for Bioceres because it is the first major global supplier to accept GM wheat after Argentina. A percent of wheat exports come from the two southern hemisphere countries.
In 2020, Argentina became the first country to approve HB4, but only Brazil, a major importer, and Colombia had followed recently.
Bioceres is trying to succeed where no one has previously succeeded. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the world’s soybean and corn crops have already been genetically modified, they are fed to livestock. GM wheat, on the other hand, would be consumed directly by people in the form of bread and pasta, something that consumers and regulators have previously rejected.
Farmers from the Americas to Oceania are struggling with climate change and extreme dryness, and HB4’s selling point is that it tolerates drought. Between 2017 and 2019, Australia was hit by a drought that lasted until 2019.