President Macri decides to get involved in the GMO wheat case

(Photo: President Macri, with Ag-secretary  Etchevehere, after the meeting with the wheat chain representatives)

Buenos Aires, February 5th. Yesterday, Monday 4th, President Mauricio Macri led a meeting with representatives from the wheat chain. Ministry of Production Dante Sica was the highest-level official in the meeting, that counted with de presence of Ag-Industry Secretary, Luis Miguel Etchevehere, the chairman of the Agriculture Technology National Institute (INTA) Juan Balbin; the chairman of Grupo Los Grobo; Gustavo Grobocopatel, the chairman of Bioceres, Federico Trucco; the president of the wheat milling industry, Diego Cifarelli; the leader of the wheat chain (Argentrigo), David Hughes; and the Etchevehere’s chief of advisors, Santiago del Solar, between others.

Prior to the reunion, nobody in the private sector knew exactly the reason for the calling. But President Macri had decided to know from first-hand everything about the HB4 wheat case, a transgenic crop developed by domestic biotechnology company Bioceres for drought-tolerance, and the convenience to release it or not.

It was a shock for the Ag-Industry Secretariat officials, who in last December publically denied the possibility of the release. They argued that the release could damage the Argentine wheat exports since no country around the world have approved no GMO wheat.

But Ministry Dante Sica would have a more pro-active attitude and he would be the promoter of the meeting. In fact, a close collaborator and advisor of Chief of Ministries, Marcos Peña, picked up the arguments in favor of the release of the GMO wheat from a group of farmers and transmitted it to his chief.

Then, the participants exposed in front the President its argues to release or to not release the wheat. Sources of said that President Macri made many questions and pay attention to each answer. He refrained for issuing a judgment or opinion, but everybody understood that the President wanted to get involved in the case. “It was a rich exchange of ideas”, our source said.

From one side, the argument to not release the HB4 wheat is “we don’t want to be the firsts”; on the other side the argument is “we must be the firsts”. According to our sources, President Macri would have ordered to the presents to arrive a solution that harmonizes the local science advances with the commercial flow that preserves the wheat exports and markets.

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for any additional question contact Javier Preciado Patiño [email protected]

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