Syngenta Seeds Receives Mexican Import Approval for Corn Grown from Hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera™ Trait

MINNETONKA, MINN. — February 8, 2010 — Syngenta Seeds, Inc., today announced it received import approval from the National Commission for Sanitary Risks of the Mexican Ministry of Health (COFEPRIS) for genetically modified corn event MIR162, also known as the Agrisure Viptera trait. Upon receipt of remaining regulatory stack approvals, this import approval will allow U.S. corn growers to export corn grown from hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera trait to Mexico for food or feed use.

“It is a significant achievement that Mexico, one of the largest importers of U.S. corn, has approved the Agrisure Viptera trait,” said David Morgan, president of Syngenta Seeds. “This is an important milestone for American corn growers as it will help them combat the multi-pest complex and provides a readily available market to sell corn grown from hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait once it receives USDA approval for cultivation in the U.S.”

COFEPRIS also granted import approval for COT102, the Vip3A component of Syngenta’s VipCot™ transgenic cotton. While Syngenta does not sell cotton seed, the company is committed to providing cotton producers with yield-preserving technologies including traits, seed care products and crop protection products.

The Agrisure Viptera trait, like the COT102 event, expresses the Vip3A protein, the market’s first non-Cry insect control protein. Vip3A is a breakthrough technology that provides broad spectrum control of lepidopteran pests and creates new options for insect resistance management (IRM).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently reviewing the Agrisure Viptera trait and another component of VipCot cotton varieties for deregulation. The MIR162 corn trait, trait stacks with it and VipCot cotton varieties have already received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and have completed the regulatory process at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the MIR162 corn trait has been approved for cultivation in Brazil.

The Agrisure Viptera trait has been shown to control damaging insects which make-up the multi-pest complex, including corn earworm, fall armyworm, Western bean cutworm, black cutworm, dingy cutworm, stalk borer and sugarcane borer. Collectively, the multi-pest complex damages 238 million bushels of corn each year and costs U.S. corn growers $1.1 billion annually in lost yield and grain quality1. These pests are unpredictable, time-consuming and difficult to scout, which makes them difficult to treat effectively with conventional insecticides. Corn earworm, in particular, historically has had no viable control solution.

In addition, the damage from the multi-pest complex causes stress and injury to plant tissue, which allows spores from fungi to gain access, proliferate and produce mycotoxins. These mycotoxins have the potential to cause health problems in animals and humans when found in grain at concentrations above acceptable thresholds. The Agrisure Viptera trait demonstrated an ability to significantly reduce development of molds and mycotoxins, in research conducted by Texas A&M University and Syngenta2.

For more information on the multi-pest complex, visit www.multipestcomplex.com.

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