Brazil approves new soy seed that resists drought, two herbicides

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s bio-security agency CTNBio has approved a new soybean seed that combines technologies to make it resistant to drought and two widely used herbicides, according to a statement on Friday from the companies that created the product.

Completion of the regulatory process allows the planting and harvesting of the so-called HB4 soybean varieties in Brazil, the statement said, although commercial launch for export will require approval from importing countries.

CTNBio did not immediately reply to a request for confirmation or comment.

Tropical Melhoramiento & Genetica (TMG) and Verdeca, the joint venture between Arcadia Biosciences Inc and Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp, said the approval by CTNBio will be followed by a public comment period lasting 30 days. After that, a definitive approval document will be issued, they said.

Along with the drought-resistant trait, Brazil has approved the combination of two other technologies to the same seed product: resistance to weed killers glufosinate-ammonium and glyphosate, the companies said.

Luiz Gustavo Kalinowski, a sales representative at TMG in Brazil, told Reuters by telephone the new seed will be the only one in the Brazilian market that resists drought and the two weed-killers.

Approvals by soybean importing countries are already underway, the companies said.

The HB4 trait has been approved in Argentina and by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, according to the companies.

Regulatory approvals are also under consideration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as in China, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay, they said.

Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Dan Grebler