Brazil bans Bayer

A judge has prohibited Bayer Cropscience from marketing Liberty Link corn, a genetically modified crop resistant to Ignite and Liberty herbicides, in Brazil. If the Leverkusen, Germany–based company fails to suspend marketing, planting, transportation and import immediately, it will be fined R$50,000 ($28,500) a day. This ruling issued in July by an environmental court in the southern state of Parana is only the second time a Brazilian court has overturned a commercial GM crop already approved by the country’s technical commission on biosafety (CTNBio), says the commission’s coordinator Jairon Nascimento. The first marketing suspension was in 1998 when a judge blocked Roundup Ready soybeans from Monsanto of St. Louis. It took a further six years to ascertain the commission’s competence to make biosafety decisions related to GM crops, after which a flurry of commercial GM crop approvals followed. The court took action after a civil suit brought by several agriculture and consumer advocacy groups, who argued that CTNBio’s May 2007 approval of Liberty Link maize relied on an inadequate review and neglected post-release safety monitoring. The judge in the Liberty Link case, Pepita Durski Tramontini Mazini, found that CTNBio failed to ensure adequate post-release monitoring of the crop or the potential effects on regional biomes. “The [post-release monitoring] plan is under analysis in CTNBio, but [the court] has not considered this fact,” Nascimento says.

First published by Nature Biotechnology: [html] or as it appeared in print [pdf].