Regulatory Roundup



MBI Receives Patent on Active Ingredient
Marrone Bio Innovations, a provider of bio-based pest management products for the agricultural and water treatment markets, has been issued a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for sarmentine, the active ingredient in its new bioherbicide, currently identified as MBI-011. Sarmentine is one of three herbicidal products that MBI has under development for commercialization. The pending registration is for control of annual and perennial grass and broadleaf weeds in the agricultural, turf and ornamental markets.

Keygene Expands SBG for Breeding
KeyGene has announced that its sequence-based genotyping patent portfolio has been strengthened by the recent United States patent 8,460,866, entitled High Throughput Sequence-based Detection of SNPs using Ligation Assays, protecting sequence-based single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping methods. The grant of this patent strengthens KeyGene’s leading position in the competitive field of SBG for breeding. The granted patent is one of several SBG patents and patent applications the company owns related to next-generation sequencing-based discovery and detection of genome variants.

SGS Brookings Announces Reaccreditation
SGS Brookings has announced its recent three-year reaccreditation by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Seed Health System. This achievement expands the seed pathogen testing offered by SGS Brookings in order to substantiate the issuance of Federal Phytosanitary Certificates, which facilitate the international movement of seed. In addition to seed health testing, SGS Brookings is accredited for seed sampling and visual inspection of seed prior to issuance of phytosanitary certificates. This new scope of seed health testing accreditation includes analysis on a wider variety of seed, such as lettuce and other leafy crops, cucurbits, solanaceae species, maize, soybeans, brassica, beans and peas.

Syngenta Submits Product for Regulatory Review
Soybean growers are one step closer to achieving season-long, pre- and post-emergent weed control. Syngenta recently submitted petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency for approval of mesotrione herbicide use on MGI herbicide-tolerant soybeans, which provide tolerance to three herbicide active ingredients: mesotrione, glufosinate and isoxaflutole. MGI herbicide-tolerant soybeans are also under regulatory review in the United States and Canada as well as in key soybean importing countries, including the European Union. The much-anticipated soybeans will be available in the latter part of the decade. Additionally, MGI herbicide-tolerant soybeans will be out-licensed to other seed companies to include in their branded seed.

US Court Rules in Favor of Monsanto
The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a farmer who buys patented seeds may not reproduce them through planting and harvesting without the rights holder’s permission. The case, known as Bowman vs. Monsanto, revolved around patent exhaustion. The Supreme Court was to decide whether patent exhaustion applied to patented seeds after authorized sale. According to the ruling of the Supreme Court, under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, the authorized sale of a patented article gives the purchaser, or any subsequent owner, a right to use or resell that article. Such a sale, however, does not allow the purchaser to make new copies of the patented invention. “The question in this case is whether a farmer who buys patented seeds may reproduce them through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission. We hold that he may not,” said Justice Kagan in delivering the opinion of the court.

Monsanto and USDA to Cooperate on EIS
Monsanto Company has announced that it will cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as it prepares an environmental impact statement on the company’s next-generation dicamba weed management technologies: Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton technologies. Monsanto noted that it will work with APHIS to complete this action as soon as possible to ensure that U.S. soybean and cotton farmers gain access to these important new technologies. Monsanto noted that approximately 100 growers in 16 states will have the opportunity to evaluate the RR Xtend Crop System on their farms in 2013. The RR Xtend Crop System is a technology designed to help maximize weed control through effective and sustainable weed management options, giving farmers another tool to manage glyphosate-resistant weeds and improve crop yield.


Brazil Approves New GM Corn
Brazil’s National Technical Commission on Biosafety has approved the commercial release of genetically modified corn TC1507 x DAS-59122-7, an insect resistant and herbicide tolerant variety developed by Dow AgroSciences Seeds Biotechnology Brazil Ltda. and DuPont Brazil SA.

Intacta Soybeans Receive Approval
Monsanto Company’s first technology developed specifically for an international market, Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans, has received official approval from China’s Ministry of Agriculture. With this approval, Monsanto will now begin commercial preparation for the full-scale launch of Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans in Brazil for the upcoming crop season. Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans are also expected to become one of the cornerstone products in Monsanto’s next-generation soybean platform. The technology represents one of the most significant growth drivers in its global portfolio, and it is estimated that it could deliver benefits to farmers in more than 100 million acres across South America.

China Approves Drought Tolerant Hybrids
China has officially granted full regulatory import authorization for Monsanto Company’s biotechnology trait in Genuity DroughtGard hybrids, as part of a series of approvals. Farmers who purchased DroughtGard hybrids for planting in 2013 signed a grain stewardship agreement committing to use the grain as on-farm feed or to sell the grain for domestic use due to pending import approvals in key export markets. With the approval in China, Monsanto will remove the grain stewardship requirements, and grain will no longer be required to remain in the domestic market. “The import approval of this trait is great news for United States farmers,” says Lisa Safarian, U.S. row crops lead for Monsanto. “With approvals in key export markets, farmers can market their grain more broadly this year and plant with confidence in 2014. This also provides expanded access to another tool that can help farmers more sustainably manage their risk.”

Defra Extends GM Wheat Trial
The Department for Food and Rural Affairs in the United Kingdom has granted approval for Rothamsted Research to extend a trial of genetically modified wheat this fall. The independent advisory committee of releases to the environment found that the trial will have no adverse effects on human health or the environment. Defra has set precautionary conditions to ensure no GM material will enter the food chain. In 2011, Defra authorized Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire, England, to plant its GM aphid-resistant wheat in spring 2012 and 2013. The GM wheat produces a naturally occurring pheromone that not only repels aphids, but also attracts their natural enemies, such as ladybugs and wasps.

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