Biotech crops have received the "thumbs up" sign lately.
Monsanto has received final regulatory approval in Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan for its second-generation soybean technology, Roundup Ready 2 Yield. This is the same technology that has been controversial in France, as reported in recent weeks in CropLife eNews.
These approvals represent significant progress toward the commercialization of this new higher-yielding soybean technology.
Last July, Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans completed the regulatory process in both the U.S. 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.
Meanwhile, Bayer CropScience’s Liberty Link soybean application for European Union (EU) import tolerance for food and feed has moved one step closer to being finalized. The EU’s Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health affirmative vote send the application to the Agricultural Council, in accordance with the established EU authorization process.
With a planned launch in 2009, LibertyLink will be the only non-selective alternative herbicide-tolerant system that will enable growers to maintain current production processes and rotate herbicide tolerant systems in order to avoid weed resistance, an increasing problem in U.S. soybean production areas.
By vacating the stay on approvals of biotech crops last week, the Indian Supreme Court has ended a ban that has lasted more than a year. Currently, only Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton is cleared for planting in India. Indian growers planted around 15.3 million acres of cotton crop in 2007; expect that to go up, says Amit Sachdev, U.S. Grains Council consultant in India. Sachdev adds that more crops, especially vegetables, are expected to be approved in time.