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Genet Mol Res. 2014 Jul 7;13(3):5221-40. doi: 10.4238/2014.July.7.15.

Genetically modified crops: Brazilian law and overview.

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Departamento de Estatística, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brasil
Departamento de Administração, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brasil.
Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brasil.
Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, PR, Brasil.
Departamento de Estatística, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brasil.


In Brazil, the first genetically modified (GM) crop was released in 1998, and it is estimated that 84, 78, and 50% of crop areas containing soybean, corn, and cotton, respectively, were transgenic in 2012. This intense and rapid adoption rate confirms that the choice to use technology has been the main factor in developing national agriculture. Thus, this review focuses on understanding these dynamics in the context of farmers, trade relations, and legislation. To accomplish this goal, a survey was conducted using the database of the National Cultivar Registry and the National Service for Plant Variety Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply [Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (MAPA)] between 1998 and October 13, 2013. To date, 36 events have been released: five for soybeans, 18 for corn, 12 for cotton, and one for beans. From these events, 1395 cultivars have been developed and registered: 582 for soybean, 783 for corn and 30 for cotton. Monsanto owns 73.05% of the technologies used to develop these cultivars, while the Dow AgroScience - DuPont partnership and Syngenta have 16.34 and 4.37% ownership, respectively. Thus, the provision of transgenic seeds by these companies is an oligopoly supported by legislation. Moreover, there has been a rapid replacement of conventional crops by GM crops, whose technologies belong almost exclusively to four multinational companies, with the major ownership by Monsanto. These results reflect a warning to the government of the increased dependence on multinational corporations for key agricultural commodities.

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