Regulatory Roundup

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National

USDA APPROVES ENLIST TRAITS AND ENLIST DUO
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist corn and soybean traits in the United States. USDA’s decision applies to the Enlist corn, Enlist soybean and Enlist E3 soybean traits. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved Enlist Duo herbicide for use with Enlist corn and soybeans. The registration is scheduled to expire in six years, allowing the EPA to revisit the issue of resistance. The EPA is registering the pesticide in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

CARGILL FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST SYNGENTA
Cargill filed a lawsuit against Syngenta Seed, Inc. in Louisiana state court, seeking damages from Syngenta for commercializing its Agrisure Viptera (MIR 162) corn seed before the product obtained import approval from China. Cargill’s grain export facilities in Reserve and Westwego, Louisiana, loaded vessels that were destined for China and upon arrival rejected. Syngenta responded stating that it believes that the lawsuit is without merit. Syngenta strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies that can increase productivity and profitability.

MBI RECEIVES NEW PATENT
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. has received a patent for the use of Chromobacterium, a naturally occurring bacterium with demonstrated 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, such as Latin America and Europe,” says Pam Marrone, MBI’s CEO.

International

UPOV APPOINTS NEW SECRETARY GENERAL
The Council of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) held its 48th ordinary session and appointed Francis Gurry as secretary general through Sept. 30, 2020. The council also announced that a total of 58 members of the Union now offer protection to all plant genera and species, with 14 members offering protection to a limited number of plant genera and species.

AMENDMENT TO SEED ACT GETS APPROVAL
Pakistan’s parliamentary committee on National Food Security and Research voted to approve the amendment to its 1976 Seed Act. If approved by the National Assembly, the bill would open Pakistan’s seed industry to private sector participation and authorize the registration of biotech seeds. If cleared, it will under-go additional legislative steps before final approval.

EU DEFAULTS ON GM APPROVALS
Biotech traits awaiting approval by the European Commission continue to wait as a newly elected commission takes office. “This is a disappointing failure of the European Union to live up to its own statutory requirements, World Trade Organization commitments and policy guidelines,” says Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy. “On paper, the EU is committed to a science-based process with transparent standards and a reasonable timetable. In practice, the EU process is politically driven.” The traits at issue enhance corn, soy, canola and cotton varieties and have already been found to be safe by the European Food Safety Authority. By declining to act, the outgoing commissioners punted the issue. The new commissioners could act, but incoming president Jean-Claude Juncker called for a review of biotechnology approval policies during his first six months in office. SW

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