Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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NATIONAL

DAS GRANTED U.S. PATENT FOR SECOND ENLIST TRAIT
Dow AgroSciences LLC has announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,283,522, covering crop plants containing another of DAS’ innovative class of herbicide-tolerant traits. The patented trait has shown exceptional promise for use in soybeans and cotton as it conveys robust tolerance to broadleaf herbicides such as 2,4-D and enables new uses of other proven broad-spectrum herbicides against herbicide-resistant weeds. In addition to its U.S. patents, DAS has filed for patent protection in major crop-growing countries around the world. Its patent filings are expected to provide protection for crops containing the trait, methods for controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds, and uses of the trait in combination with 2,4-D as well as other broad-spectrum and selective herbicides.

AGRELIANT RECEIVES USDA BQMS RECOGNITION
AgReliant Genetics has announced that the United States Department of Agriculture’s Biotechnology Regulatory Services has recognized the voluntary establishment of its Biotechnology Quality Management System. AgReliant successfully completed BQMS training sessions, followed by a baseline assessment, an internal audit and an external audit, during which a trained, qualified third-party auditor validated its BQMS. “This system of analyzing control points assists in maintaining compliance with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service regulations in place for handling genetically engineered organisms. The intent is to assure that there are no escapes of the regulated genes outside the controlled breeding system,” says Jim Shearl, director of quality assurance for AgReliant Genetics.

PLANT BIOSCIENCE AWARDED U.S. PATENT
Plant Bioscience Ltd. has announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,299,235 with fundamental claims directed to compositions to effect gene silencing. The new patent allows claims to short antisense molecules of 21 to 30 nucleotides in length for silencing gene targets in a wide range of eukaryotes, including mammals, plants and protozoa, as well as targets in pathogens. PBL’s patent portfolio in this field of RNA interference covers many current research, development and manufacturing processes used in agricultural biotechnology industries.

JOINT U.S.-CANADA WEBSITE ADSS SEED TRADE FACTS
For a better understanding of seed regulations on both sides of the border and to help answer questions and facilitate trade, a working group of Canadian and U.S. non-profit and trade organizations has updated its website to include answers to important questions on cross-border trade for seed. The website provides a detailed FAQ section on both cross-border seed trade and producer deliveries following the implementation of the act on August 1, 2012, in Canada. Visitors can also submit comments and additional questions through the website at canada-usgrainandseedtrade.info.

BIO AND ASTA ANNOUNCE GEMAA OPEN FOR SIGNATURE 
The Biotechnology Industry Organization and the American Seed Trade Association have announced that the Generic Event Marketability and Access Agreement is open for signature. The GEMAA is a landmark agreement created within the private sector-driven framework, referred to as the Accord. The Accord was developed to address the transition of commercial biotechnology events as they go off-patent. The GEMAA is intended to benefit the entire agriculture value chain by ensuring the maintenance of foreign regulatory authorizations and stewardship obligations following the expiration of patents for biotechnology events utilized in seed varieties.

INTERNATIONAL

PANAMA ACCEDES TO THE 1991 ACT OF THE UPOV CONVENTION
The government of Panama has announced its accession to the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. The purpose of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants is to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants for the benefit of society. Panama, which is already one of the 70 members of UPOV, is the fiftieth member to become bound by the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention. The 1991 Act will enter into force for Panama on November 22, 2012.

TAIWAN APPROVES SYNGENTA TRAIT FOR IMPORT Syngenta has announced that regulatory authorities in Taiwan have granted import approval for the Agrisure 3122 trait stack for food use. The Agrisure 3122 trait stack offers growers a reduced-refuge trait stack featuring dual modes of action against corn borer and corn rootworm. “The Taiwanese import approval of the Agrisure 3122 trait stack opens the door to an additional export market for growers planting hybrids with this trait stack,” says David Morgan, president of Syngenta Seeds. In the United States, the Agrisure 3122 trait stack has already received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Syngenta has received import approval from regulatory authorities in Canada, Japan, Mexico and the Philippines.

U.S.-PANAMA FTA IN FORCE
The United States-Panama Free Trade Agreement has entered into force. U.S. agricultural goods currently face an average tariff of 15 percent, with some tariffs as high as 260 percent. Nearly half of U.S. exports of agricultural commodities to Panama will immediately become duty-free, including wheat, barley, soybeans, high-quality beef, bacon, and almost all fruit and vegetable products, with most of the remaining tariffs to be eliminated within 15 years. President Obama signed the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act into law in the United States on October 21, 2011. Free Trade Agreements with Korea and Colombia have already entered into force.

RUSSIA APPROVES GM SOYBEANS 
Russia has approved the genetically modified soybean line BPS-CV127-9 by BASF Plant Science Co. GmbH tolerant to the imidazolinone class of herbicides as beans subject to processing in accordance with technologies ensuring deprivation of their reproduction ability. The application area includes production of feeds and feed additives; however, use for planting purposes is prohibited.

EU APPROVES SYNGENTA TRAIT FOR IMPORT 
Syngenta has been granted import approval by the European Commission for its Agrisure Viptera trait. This approval allows the importation of U.S. corn grown with this trait for food or feed use within the 27 countries of the European Union. “This approval provides growers broader access for marketing grain from hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera trait,” says Jill Wenzel, Syngenta product lead for commercial traits. The technology is approved for cultivation in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United States, and for import in Australia, Belarus, the European Union, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia and Taiwan.

EC TO EXAMINE BIOTECHNOLOGY PATENT LAW
The European Commission has set up an expert group to examine the implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, and to provide high-quality legal and technical expertise which will help the EC with its reporting obligations under the Biotechnology Directive (Directive 98/44/EC). The members of the group will be chosen from experts responding to an open call for applications. Members will be appointed for a period of two years, renewable once.

FAO AND BRAZIL SIGN TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT
The Food and Agriculture Organization and Brazil have signed a cooperation agreement to share expertise in cotton production with other developing countries. The Brazilian Cotton Institute (Instituto Brasileño del Algodón) and the external cooperation wing of Brazil’s Foreign Relations Ministry (Agencia Brasileña de Cooperación) are the main institutions in Brazil to oversee the project. The program will target participating countries with technical assistance and training in best practices in cotton cultivation and marketing. The project will initially focus on Haiti and the South American zone.

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