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National

EPA Closes Comment Period on Enlist Duo 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) closed the comment period on its proposed decision to register Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Duo herbicide for use with the Enlist weed control system. Drawing broad support from farmers, university scientists, agricultural associations and members of the public, EPA acknowledged the significant scientific advancements Dow made with Enlist Duo herbicide as it relates to off-target movement. EPA is expected to review the comments in the coming weeks, and will then issue its final decision. Pending regulatory approvals, Dow expects to launch Enlist corn and soybeans in 2015.

BASF Awaits Registration for Provisia
The Provisia rice system, developed by BASF, is a new tool for post-emergence control of a broad range of grass weeds. Developed through traditional breeding techniques, registration of Provisia is anticipated as early as 2016 in the U.S., with other countries to follow. “This new system will provide a different site of action, helping rice growers control ALS [acetolactate synthase]-resistant weeds,” says Jason Kuhlemeier, BASF technical market manager. “It was designed to be used as a companion to the Clearfield production system for rice, allowing growers to rotate herbicide sites of action for controlling grass weeds, including weedy rice and red rice.”

ABM Gets Exclusive Rights to Trichoderma Strain
U.S. Patent No. 8,716,001 was issued to Cornell University for a trichoderma strain that induces resistance to plant diseases and increases plant growth. The patent covers the technology that induces gene expression triggers for healthier and more productive plants. Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) has exclusive worldwide rights. This patented strain of trichoderma offers an all-natural way to improve agricultural production and increase plant yields for crops, such as corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, peanuts, forage crops and vegetables.

Bayer Introduces Credenz Soybean Seed
Bayer CropScience introduced its first global soybean seed brand, Credenz, which is now commercially available to farmers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, southern Iowa, Illinois and Missouri as they start planning for the 2015 growing season. Credenz offers soybean growers a wide range of varieties and traits, including LibertyLink and glyphosate-tolerant traits. “We have invested in Credenz breeding stations in the United States and around the world to provide timely, custom-made solutions to meet region-specific challenges,” explains Diego Angelo, Bayer CropScience director of U.S. soybean operations. The company anticipates availability in most U.S. markets beginning in 2015 for the 2016 growing season.

INTERNATIONAL

Biotech Groups Around the World Unite 
During a mid-July meeting in Washington, D.C., Biotechnology Industry Organization, EuropaBio, AfricaBio and several other biotech trade organizations convened to ratify the bylaws of the International Council of Biotechnology Associations (ICBA). The council is designed to support international biotech development. The increasingly global biotechnology industry provides break-through products and technologies that combat debilitating diseases, reduces the environmental footprint, feeds the hungry and uses less energy, says Jim Greenwood, ICBA chairman. In forming the ICBA, he says that industry is taking an important step that allows it to better coordinate, organize and face these issues together.

EU Member Countries to Decide GM Policy
After years of discussion, a recently-adopted accord by the European Union will allow member countries to make their own decisions on whether or not to allow genetically modified crops. “All member states, with the exception of Belgium and Luxembourg, have given their agreement,” says Greek Agriculture Minister Ioannis Maniatis after a recent meeting with EU colleagues. The accord gives individual EU states the right to ban GM crops — even if they have already won clearance on health and safety grounds at the EU level. The accord will now proceed to the European Parliament for approval.

OAPI Joins UPOV
The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) is the second intergovernmental organization and the 72nd member to join the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), which provides and promotes an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society. OAPI operates a plant variety protection system, which covers the territory of its 17 member states including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. OAPI headquarters are in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Support Grows for Technology in Wheat 
Sixteen organizations in Australia, Canada and the U.S. pledged their support for innovation in wheat, including the commercialization of biotechnology. The statement encourages governments to maintain sound, science-based regulatory systems, as well as to adopt reasonable low-level presence policies to minimize trade disruptions. Five years after an original document was signed, the organizations released a statement, which included the addition of groups, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union and a coalition of wheat organizations.

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