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2-Plants: Brazilian Ministry limits cultivation of transgenic cotton

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TITLE:  Ministry limits cultivation of transgenic cotton
SOURCE: Agência Brasil, translated by David Silberstein
DATE:   31 Oct 2005

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Ministry limits cultivation of transgenic cotton

Brasília - Cultivation of transgenic cotton was limited by the Ministry
of Agriculture in order to preserve the cultivation of wild, native
cotton in the country, Paulo Barroso, a researcher at the Brazilian
Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa), explained in an interview with
the Radio Nacional on Saturday (29).

A administrative order signed last week by the minister of Agriculture,
Roberto Rodrigues, prohibits the cultivation of transgenic cotton in
northern Bahia; the Seridó region, which covers parts of the states of
Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte in the country's Northeast region; in the
entire North region of the country; and in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do
Sul, in the Center-West region.

"If a cross between transgenic material and these wild materials takes
place, there could be a loss of genetic characteristics. Wild cotton is
very important, in terms of both its preservation in places where it is
found as in the gap it could cause in the future when we need to conduct
research to resolve problems involving cotton," Barroso explained.

Barroso also observed that native Brazilian cotton is a source of
important genes that will help improve "the genetic characteristics of
new species." And that the possibility of mixture with transgenic genes
"could compromise the diversity of the plant, with grave future consequences."


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