Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) announced today it has received regulatory approval in China for the importation of Roundup Ready 2 Yield™ soybeans. China imports accounted for approximately 38 percent of U.S. soybean exports in 2007, making it the largest purchaser of U.S. soybeans. This approval is a significant step forward in the commercialization of this highly-anticipated soybean technology.
Roundup Ready 2 Yield is the only second-generation biotechnology trait in soybeans to achieve regulatory approvals in the United States and key export markets like China, propelling it to be first to market with 2009 commercial sales. It is also the first in a series of game-changing technology platforms Monsanto is poised to launch for soybeans, corn and cotton.
“Farmer excitement around Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans is building and China regulatory approval demonstrates the acceptance of this product on a global level,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto’s executive vice president of global commercial business. “Monsanto spoke with tens of thousands of farmers at the Farm Progress Show in Iowa last week and at numerous other field days around the Midwest this summer, and the biggest thing we’ve heard is they need more yield from soybeans. We’re proud we will be able to deliver the first step-change in yield through our Roundup Ready 2 Yield technology and that the launch of this product is right around the corner.”
Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tenn. and first vice president of the American Soybean Association applauded the news. “China’s approval of the Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean prior to the 2009 seed-buying season is welcome news to U.S. soybean farmers,” Dodson said. “Timely overseas regulatory approvals are critical because growers have rapidly adopted new biotech-enhanced seed varieties as they became available.
“Last year China purchased more than $4 billion worth of soybeans from the United States, and as the standard of living continues to rise for the Chinese, so will the demand for our soybeans. Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans are one of the key technologies that are going to help U.S. farmers meet the world’s growing demand for food, feed and fuel made from U.S. soybeans,” he added.
Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans are the second generation of the popular Roundup Ready® technology farmers have used in soybeans since 1996. This product offers the same effective weed control, simplicity and flexibility benefits of the Roundup Ready system and it significantly increases soybean yield potential.
In four years of testing, Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans have demonstrated a consistent yield advantage of 7 to 11 percent over Roundup Ready soybeans. The four-year average yield increase of Roundup Ready 2 Yield over its first-generation counterpart was 9 percent.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will be introduced on 1 to 2 million acres for the 2009 season as part of a controlled commercial release, followed by a large-scale product launch of five to six million acres scheduled for 2010.
Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans have been approved as safe for food and feed in nine countries and regions -- the United States, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and China. These countries import more than 70 percent of U.S. soybean exports, providing U.S. farmers access to a broad market. In addition to the approvals, Monsanto recently announced the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a positive scientific opinion concluding Roundup Ready 2 Yield is safe for import as food and feed.