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FDA approves sugar made from Brazil’s first genetically modified sugarcane
US FDA concludes review of sugar from the first GM sugarcane variety from Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira

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 new variety developed by Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (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 US$1 billion a 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.

The sugar produced from the genetically modified (GM) sugarcane was as safe as sugar produced from conventional sugarcane and is compositionally identical to sugar produced from conventional varieties.

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.

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's National Biosafety Technical Committee, in June 2017 following a detailed review process.

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APBN Editorial Calendar 2019
January:
Taiwan Medical tourism
February:
Marijuana as medicine — Legal marijuana will open up scientific research
March:
Driven by curiosity
April:
Career developments for researchers
May:
What's cracking — Antibodies in ostrich eggs
June:
Clinical trials — What's in a name?
July:
Traditional Chinese medicine in modern healthcare — Integrating both worlds
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
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