ProdiGene To Buy Tainted Soybeans

The biotech firm ProdiGene Inc. indicated to USDA last week that it would buy 500,000 bu of soybeans that were contaminated with residue from genetically modified corn it was testing in Nebraska.

ProdiGene, which produces plant-made pharmaceuticals and industrial products, was said to be talking with USDA about how to dispose of the soybeans, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered destroyed.

ProdiGene reportedly delivered about 500 bu of soybeans to the Aurora Cooperative Elevator Co. in Aurora, NE. Those soybeans contained about one ounce of corn leaves and stalks from volunteer corn.

The firm and USDA were also said to be discussing what penalties the company would face for violating the Plant Protection Act in both Nebraska and Iowa.

USDA said that in September it ordered ProdiGene to destroy 155 acres of unapproved biotech corn in Iowa due to concerns it may have contaminated nearby fields.

Editors note: Richard Brock, Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.