Corn genetically engineered for animal feed ready to market

US - Renessen LLC, a joint venture in Illinois of Monsanto Co. and Cargill Inc., is preparing to market the first crop genetically engineered for animal feed.

The product, corn that carries added lysine in each kernel, should reach poultry and swine producers in the United States and Argentina in 2007 or 2008, the company said. It is meant to replace synthetic supplements of lysine, an essential amino acid, that producers now buy and mix into feed.

It also is the first big commercial launch for Renessen, which has digested nearly $444.5 million in investment from its co-owners but has yet to produce a return.

Monsanto, of Creve Coeur, Mo., and Cargill, of Minneapolis, have said they fully support the joint venture and knew it would require a lot of research and development expense before a payday.

Still, they reorganized the company last year, reducing Renessen’s staff to 44 from 66 at a cost of nearly $2 million. In March, five more people’s jobs were shaved, and the company recorded another $1 million in charges, according to Monsanto’s annual report.

Between Renessen’s formation in January 1999 and Aug. 31, it had revenue of $24.4 million on a net loss of $444.5 million. It spent $335.9 million on research and development — much of that conducted by Monsanto, which is paid at a set rate for the work.

Source: Journal Star
calendar icon 21 November 2005
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