USDA Announces Biotech Regulatory Petitions
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced the agency will be sending several biotechnology regulatory actions to the Federal Register for publication. APHIS has posted a notice of three actions for preliminary deregulation of the following genetically engineered plants—glyphosate-resistant canola from Monsanto, glyphosate-resistant corn from Genective and hybridization system corn from Monsanto. APHIS has evaluated the public comments it has received and prepared the final environmental and plant pest risk assessments as well as the preliminary findings of no significant impact that support the agency’s preliminary determinations of nonregulated status.
Bayer and MS Technologies Receive Trait Approval
Bayer CropScience and MS Technologies LLC have achieved a milestone on their path to delivering new solutions for soybean farmers. The dual herbicide tolerance trait Balance GT has received cultivation approval from the United States Department of Agriculture. This step follows approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approvals already received for cultivation, food and feed uses in Canada, and import into Australia and New Zealand. Heralded as an alternate tool for weed control and resistance management the technology confers tolerance to both isoxaflutole and glyphosate herbicides. The first launch is planned for the United States by mid-decade, pending regulatory approvals. Balance GT is expected to be one of the first dual-herbicide tolerant products for soybeans on the market in the U.S.
Syngenta Receives Registrations for Seed Treatment
Syngenta has received federal registration for Vibrance seed treatment fungicide for more than 30 additional crops, including corn. Vibrance contains sedaxane and is the company’s first active ingredient developed specifically for use as a seed treatment. According to the company, the chemistry unlocks the power of root health by providing ideal soil mobility and enhancing biotic/abiotic stress management. “This addition to our diverse portfolio further strengthens our ability to protect seeds and seedlings against disease, which otherwise may impact yield potential negatively,” says David Winston, Seedcare product lead at Syngenta. In addition to field corn, Vibrance received approval for sweet corn, popcorn and forage corn, as well as sorghum and dry beans.
PHC Announces Plans for Harpin Seed Treatment
Plant Health Care, a provider of naturally derived products to the agriculture industry, has regained licensed rights to Harpin αβ as a seed treatment. PHC and Monsanto have mutually agreed to discontinue the 2008 Harpin αβ agreement, which granted Monsanto certain exclusive rights to develop and sell Harpin αβ as a seed treatment. Since the first usage in 2010, more than 10 million acres of Harpin-treated soybeans have been planted. As a result of the new agreement, all licensed rights revert back to PHC, which has purchased Monsanto’s remaining Harpin inventory. The agreement enables PHC to develop and sell Harpin seed treatment into all crop markets—including corn, soybean, cotton and canola—on a global basis.
BASF Disagrees with EC Restriction
BASF has expressed its displeasure with the European Commission’s latest decision to apply a two-year restriction on selected seed treatment uses of the insecticide fipronil, which it says will limit growers’ access to valuable and approved technologies. Along with many experts, BASF remains convinced that the decline in bee populations is caused by multiple and complex factors, and that the restriction of fipronil will not contribute to protecting bees. “We will support the EC in the development of extensive measures that can benefit bees while securing food production in Europe. We do not believe that the planned restriction of fipronil uses will accomplish that,” says Jürgen Oldeweme, senior vice president global product safety and regulatory affairs with BASF Crop Protection.
February Issue 2014
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