ASA applauds approval of new soybean technology

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased that final regulatory approvals have been received in Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan for Monsanto’s, Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans (MON 89788). U.S. soybean producers anticipate commercialization of this new product in 2009.

"These approvals represent significant progress toward commercialization of the technology," said ASA President John Hoffman, a soybean producer from Waterloo, Iowa. "It is my understanding that Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will offer a 7 to 11 percent yield advantage over first-generation Roundup Ready beans, while providing the same tolerance to the Roundup herbicides we are now using to manage weeds. Higher soybean yields increase the ability of U.S. soybean growers to supply food, feed, and fuel markets domestically and around the globe."

Last July, Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans completed the regulatory process in both the United States and Canada. The product is currently under scientific review by the European Food Safety Authority, as well as regulatory authorities in China and other key export markets.

"More than 90 percent of the soybeans planted in the United States this year were biotech varieties," Hoffman said. "U.S. growers look forward to the next generation of biotech-enhanced soybean varieties now under development that will offer important benefits to consumers, growers, and the environment, ranging from healthy oil profiles to increased yields per unit of land to better weed control.

"Timely overseas regulatory approvals are critical because growers around the world have rapidly adopted new biotech-enhanced seed varieties as they became available," Hoffman said. "Livestock farmers and feed industries around the world depend on access to imported, protein-rich soybeans and soybean meal to nourish their animals and meet the food demands of consumers. U.S. soybean growers welcome these latest approvals in Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines, and we look forward to timely regulatory approvals in other important export markets well prior to planting in the spring of 2009."

Monsanto is planning a controlled commercial release of its Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean technology in 2009. A full-scale launch is expected in 2010.

Biotech-enhanced varieties of herbicide tolerant soybean seeds were first commercialized more than a decade ago. Herbicide tolerant seeds have become a standard in U.S. farmer management systems to control weeds that compete with crops for light, water, and nutrients. The technology provides farmers with an unprecedented weed management tool, which has led to increased conservation-tillage practices that sequester carbon, reduce production costs, lower fuel consumption, reduce run-off, improve water quality, and save irreplaceable top soil.

ASA is the policy advocate and collective voice of its 22,000 producer-members on domestic and international issues of importance to all U.S. soybean farmers.

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