SmartStax Corn Gets U.S., Canadian Nods

Approvals by U.S. EPA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will move SmartStax technology to the next level towards a 2010 commercial launch.

SmartStax is a new corn seed trait combination that will provide comprehensive insect and weed control while significantly reducing refuge acreage. It is the result of a cross licensing agreement and research and development collaboration signed in 2007 between Monsanto Co. and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co.

The all-in-one corn trait platform has received registration from EPA and regulatory authorization from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and remains on track for a 2010 commercial launch. SmartStax combines each company’s industry-leading corn traits to provide growers the absolute broadest spectrum of above- and below-ground protection available against insects and weeds vs. any product in the market today.

Using multiple modes of action for insect control is the state-of-the-art proven means to reduce structured refuge and maintain long-term durability of corn trait technologies. SmartStax uniquely features a combination of insect control traits that significantly reduces the risk of resistance for both above- and below-ground pests. As a result, the decisions by EPA and CFIA will allow reduction of the typical structured farm refuge from 20 percent to 5 percent for SmartStax in the U.S. Corn Belt and Canada, and from 50 percent to 20 percent in the U.S. Cotton Belt.

The companies noted that the new corn seed technology is expected to be offered to growers on 3 million- to 4-million-plus acres in its first year of availability. The product’s launch would represent the largest introduction of a corn biotech seed product in the history of agriculture.

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