European Commission Grants Approval for LibertyLink® Soybeans A 2704-12

LibertyLink® soybeans A 2704-12 cleared an important hurdle today, receiving final approval from the European Commission for importation into the European Union for food and feed use. The approval marks the achievement of one more essential milestone on the path toward commercialization of LibertyLink® soybeans, which have been fully approved for food, feed and cultivation in the U.S. and Canada. Further import approvals have been granted for Australia, China, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and Taiwan. The commercial launch of LibertyLink® soybeans in the U.S. is planned for the 2009 season.

“We are pleased with this outcome, and that the European Commission followed the scientific advice of EFSA by granting approval for LibertyLink® soybeans in a timely manner,” said Andy Hurst, Product Manager Herbicide Tolerant Traits at Bayer CropScience LP. “At this time, our seed production looks very good, and we are well on track to achieving our anticipated market introduction in 2009.”

“Since Bayer’s LibertyLink soybean is a new technology tolerant to Ignite® herbicide instead of glyphosate, farmers will have an additional in-crop weed control option,” said American Soybean Association (ASA) First Vice President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tenn., who chairs ASA’s Biotech Working Group. “Being able to alternate herbicides provides an effective management tool to minimize the selection for herbicide resistant weeds, which will enhance the sustainability of U.S. soybean production.”

“U.S. growers look forward to this and several other new biotech-enhanced soybean varieties now under development that will offer important benefits to consumers, growers, and the environment, including increased yields and better weed control,” Dodson said. “ASA and Bayer have worked in partnership to educate foreign buyers on biotechnology and for regulatory clearance of Bayer’s LibertyLink soybean.”

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.8 billion (2007), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of about 17,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

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