Regulatory Roundup

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National

KEYGENE EXPANDS SBG PORTFOLIO
KeyGene’s Sequence Based Genotyping patent portfolio has been expanded with the patent grant “Method for High Throughput AFLP-based Polymorphism Detection” in the U.S. and China. The grant of these two patents is the most recent addition to KeyGene’s SBG patent portfolio in Europe, Japan and the U.S., which now comprises 13 patents. In addition, proprietary expertise and software tools enable KeyGene scientists and its licensees to generate, analyze and apply large amounts of sequence-based marker data in a cost- and time-effective manner.

International

BIOTECH ASSOCIATIONS FORM INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL
An international confederation of biotechnology trade associations came together to create the International Council of Biotechnology Associations (ICBA), with the purpose of advocating for public policies that support the growth of the biotechnology industry worldwide. Jim Greenwood, Biotechnology Industry Organization president and CEO, serves as ICBA chairman and Nathalie Moll, secretary general of EuropaBio, serves as vice chair. Both are two-year terms. “The biotechnology sector faces challenges and opportunities that cross borders,” says Greenwood. “In forming the ICBA, our industry is taking an important step that allows us to better coordinate, organize and face these issues around the world.”

GUATEMALA REPEALS PLANT LAW
The Congress of the Republic of Guatemala voted to repeal the law for the Protection of Plant Variety Rights that it had approved less than three months prior. The law granted plant breeders exclusive rights for 25 years in the case of trees and vines and 20 years for other plant species regarding the marketing, sale and other commercial acts relating to seeds of novel plant varieties registered with the government. Shortly after the law was enacted, lawmakers came under intense pressure by labor unions, indigenous community organizations and other critics to reform or repeal the law because of fears that it would privatize the national seed supply, concentrate ag production in the hands of multinational companies, erode food sovereignty and disrupt indigenous practices.

MBI RECEIVES PATENT
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. has received a patent for the use of Chromobacterium — a naturally-occurring bacterium with insecticidal and miticidal capabilities. The patent protects the uses of Chromobacterium formulations, compositions and compounds to control corn rootworm larvae infestation. “This patent is an important first step in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions where they continue to spread,” says Pam Marrone, MBI’s CEO.

VIETNAM APPROVES BIOTECH TRAITS
After a six month regulatory review, Vietnam’s agriculture minister signed the first four certificates for food and feed safety for genetically modified corn traits. Also, the country’s natural resources minister issued the first biosafety certificate to one of the four corn traits approved. MON-89034 will be authorized for commercial production in Vietnam following variety registration. The other three traits are being reviewed. The commercialization of ag biotechnology has been a goal for several years and is an integral part of Vietnam’s agricultural restructuring program.

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