EU Approves Import of GM Soybeans

EU - Monsanto announced yesterday (4 December 2008) that it has received regulatory approval in the European Union for the importation of Roundup Ready® 2 Yield (RR2Y) genetically modified soybeans.
calendar icon 5 December 2008
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This approval follows the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) positive scientific opinion in July concluding RR2Y is safe for import as food and feed.

The European Union imports accounted for approximately 10 per cent of US soybean exports in 2007, making it a significant purchaser of US soybeans.

"The European Union regulatory approval demonstrates the growing acceptance of Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans throughout the world," said Brett Begemann, Monsanto's executive vice president of global commercial business. "As we look to deliver on our commitment to double yield by 2030, Roundup Ready 2 Yield is critical. This trait is important not only for its weed control and yield benefits, but because it serves as the platform for future soybean technologies that will deliver additional value to farmers and others."

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans are the next generation of the popular Roundup Ready technology farmers have used in soybeans since 1996. This product offers the same effective weed control, simplicity and flexibility benefits of the Roundup Ready system and it significantly increases soybean yield potential.

In four years of testing, Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans have demonstrated a consistent yield advantage of 7 to 11 per cent over Roundup Ready soybeans. The four-year average yield increase of Roundup Ready 2 Yield over its first-generation counterpart was 9 per cent. On Tuesday, Monsanto expects to release 2008 field performance data as part of Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley's presentation at the Canaccord Adams Conference in Toronto.

Monsanto's Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will be introduced on 1 million to 2 million US acres for the 2009 season as part of a controlled commercial release, followed by a large-scale product launch of 5 million to 6 million US acres scheduled for 2010.

Such approvals are important for ensuring successful biotechnology product launches, as they allow US farmers to more broadly market their grain. Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans have been approved as safe for food and feed in 10 countries and regions - the United States, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and Taiwan. These countries and regions import the vast majority of US soybean exports, providing US farmers access to a broad market for their grain.

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