US FDA Concludes Review Of Sugar From The First GM Sugarcane Variety

Monday, August 20th, 2018 | 1110 Views

US FDA Concludes Review Of Sugar From The First GM Sugarcane Variety

The United States Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded recently that raw and refined sugar produced from Brazil’s first genetically-modified sugarcane variety, called CTC20BT, is safe. The US FDA focused its safety assessment on sugar because it is the main sugarcane-derived product imported to the US from Brazil. In addition to sugar refining, the Brazilian sugarcane sector uses sugarcane by products domestically to produce ethanol fuel for vehicles and to burn to generate electricity.

Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC) submitted information and studies to FDA that showed that sugar produced from the insect-protected sugarcane was as safe as sugar produced from conventional sugarcane. The insect-protected sugarcane was developed by CTC, a company focused on improving sugarcane varieties and technologies in Brazil. The data also showed that the highly refined sugar was compositionally identical to sugar produced from conventional varieties. The recent US FDA approval followed a similar approval for sugar from Health Canada earlier this year. The sugarcane was first approved for cultivation in Brazil by CTNBio: Brazil’sNational Biosafety Technical Committee, in June 2017 following a detailed review process.

The new variety developed by CTC, produces the Cry1Ab Bt protein to establish resistance to the sugarcane borer (Diatraea saccharalis), a major destructive pest in Brazil that causes damage and loss estimated at $1 billion/year. The Bt protein found in CTC20BT, has a long history of safe use and has been used widely in global agriculture for over 20 years in biotechnology-derived crops like maize, and cotton, among others.


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