New Online Video Features Brazilian Researcher Elíbio Rech

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Higher Quality, Lower Production Costs and Reduced Use of Chemicals Among Greatest Benefits

Conversations about Plant Biotechnology

… there is a need to solve problems that are not possible to solve through traditional breeding methods. So, we need genetic engineering to aggregate value and solve problems for the producers

Brazil is one of a few developing countries that have made significant progress in plant biotechnology over the last decade. In a new online video recently released, Dr. Elíbio Rech, a biotechnology researcher at Embrapa in Brazil, discusses the worldwide need for GM crops, as well as biotechnology regulation and the safety of the technology.

"… there is a need to solve problems that are not possible to solve through traditional breeding methods. So, we need genetic engineering to aggregate value and solve problems for the producers," says Dr. Rech, who has spent his entire professional life working in the area of plant biotechnology and believes the social and economic benefits of genetically modified crops in Brazil are high.

"In the case of biotechnology in agriculture, it is really important that we use this technology, not only to aggregate value to the products, but also to develop products with better quality, whose production costs are lower, and which reduce the use of chemicals in the environment. So, this technology makes each of these three things possible, and they are very important for our planet."

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), transgenic soybean crops planted by Brazilian farmers are estimated to have increased farm income by US$1.9 billion in the four-year period 2003-2006. From an environmental perspective, ISAAA also reports there has been a savings of 62.7 million liters of diesel, 7.5 billion liters of water and a reduction of 160,000 tons of CO2 emissions since 1997.

Working closely on research projects at Embrapa, Dr. Rech is familiar with the precision and safety of the technology. "No doubt it is a very safe technology. First, because you use only sequences you're interested in producing," explains Dr. Rech in the online video. "However, what makes it safer is regulation, because the regulation that was developed to deal with biotechnology is extremely strict … to make sure that every product that gets to the market is safe."

This new video featuring Dr. Elíbio Rech can be viewed, downloaded or embedded into another Web site from the Conversations about Plant Biotechnology Web site. In addition, visitors to the Web site can view videos with Brazilian farmers about transgenic soybean crops in Brazil, how gm crop management is leading to greater environmental sustainability, and the environmental benefits of biotechnology.

The Conversations about Plant Biotechnology is designed to give a voice and a face to the farmers and families who grow GM crops and the experts who research and study the benefits of biotechnology in agriculture. The Web site contains more than 70 two- to three-minute, candid, straightforward and compelling video segments with the people who know the technology best. The Web site is hosted by Monsanto Company -- a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

Editor's Note: Pesticides registered by the U.S. EPA will not cause unreasonable effects on man or the environment, when used in accordance with label directions.

Ranjana Smetacek


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