Area km2: 8,515,767

Population: 210,147,125

Capital: Brasilia

ISO 3166: BR


Population density:
24.7 hab/km2

National flower:
Ipê (Handroanthus chrysotrichus)



Brazil is the largest Latin American economy and shows strong development of various sectors such as mining, manufacturing, agriculture and services. Among Brazil’s main agricultural products, we find soybean, maize, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, rice, oranges, cacao, tobacco, chicken and beef. Brazilian main export products comprise soybean and its byproducts, petroleum, iron ores, cellulose, maize, beef, chicken, sugar, coffee, orange juice, cotton and tobacco, among others. Brazil is also recognized for its coffee, being the number one coffee producer and exporter country in the world.


 GM Crops



Does the country plant GM crops?
Does the country plant GM crops?
Area with GM crops in millions hectares
Area with GM crops in millions hectares


Percentage of each GM crop


HT: herbicide-tolerant - IR: insect-resistant - VR: virus-resistant 

Adoption of transgenic crops in the country 







HT: herbicide-tolerant - IR: insect-resistant - VR: virus-resistant 


Are there local developments?


Some examples of local developments

• Eucalyptus with increased cellulose content, developed by FuturaGene Brasil Technologia Ltd., a private-sector company.

• Insect-resistant sugarcane, developed by the Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC) a private-sector entity.

• Virus-resistant bean (resistant to bean golden mosaic virus) developed by researchers from the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), a federal government institution linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture.




 Benefits of GM crops


The adoption of transgenic crops caused significant economic impact in the country, benefiting many farmers and their families. The adoption of GM crops resulted in reduced use of pesticides by hectare, lessened use of fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, increased yields, higher productivity and higher return per sown area contributed to an overall more sustainable agriculture. Had it not been for transgenic crops, millions of additional hectares would have been required to produce the same output. The adoption of GM crops had a positive effect on agriculture, quality of life and educational level, providing benefits for the whole community.





For further information regarding benefits


• 20 years of GMOs: environmental, economic and social benefits in Brazil. Agroconsult  y CIB (2018)

• GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2018. Brookes and Barfoot (2020a)

• GM crop technology use 1996-2018: farm income and production impacts. Brookes and Barfoot (2020c)

• Environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2018: impacts on pesticide use and carbon emissions. Brookes and Barfoot (2020b)




 Regulation of GM crops

Brief description of the regulatory framework

CTNBio (Brazilian National Biosafety Technical Commission) is in charge of the biosafety assessment of the risks for the agro-ecosystem and for human and animal health associated with GM crops. CTNBio is also the authority that grants authorization for confined activities with GMOs. To request market approval, applicants must first conduct a biosafety assessment and file a biosafety report with CTNBio containing the findings thereof. The biosafety report is assessed by the subcommittees of Human Health, Animal Health and Environment and Plants, which in turn share their opinions in the CTNBio plenary meeting, which grants market approval of the GM crop event. In case of disagreement with the CTNBio’s technical approval, the relevant registration and enforcement agency (Health, Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment) may file an appeal with the National Biosafety Council (CNBS), which is composed of 11 ministries. In case of appeal, the CNBS evaluates the social and economic convenience of the market approval of the crop in question, and renders a final decision regarding its approval.




 GM animals


Does the country produce GM animals?


There are two transgenic mosquitoes approved for commercial use. The aim is to reduce the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are primary vectors of dengue and other diseases, such as chikungunya and zika. These mosquitoes have been already released into the environment and used in various Brazilian cities to control those mosquito-borne diseases. Also, CTNBio approved the use of a transgenic moth to combat the pest Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm) in maize. CTNBio also assessed the application made by AquaBounty and, in May 2021, concluded that the consumption of the transgenic salmon developed by this company is safe for human health.


Brief description of the regulatory framework for GM animals

Brazilian regulation includes the possibility to carry out trials with and commercially produce GM animals, and has enacted specific regulations to address these cases. Risk assessment for the agro-ecosystem and for human and animal health is conducted by the same agency (CTNBio) that assesses GM crop biosafety.




Are there local developments?


Some examples of local developments

• Goats that produce milk containing human glucocerebrosidase (hGCase), “Gluca” and “Beta”, developed by the Universidad de Fortaleza.

• Goats that produce milk with similar properties to human breast milk (containing human lysozyme and lactoferrin), developed by the Universidad de Fortaleza.

• Goats that produce milk containing anti-VEGF antibody (scVEGFmAb), developed by the Universidad de Fortaleza.





 Multilateral Fora


Brazil is member/party of: