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Monsanto Develops Strategy for GM Soybeans Lacking EU Approval

The EU has yet to grant regulatory approval to Monsanto’s Xtend soybeans. The company is now working with leaders within the farming sector on a plan to keep the soybeans separate from approved varieties and out of EU markets if approval does not happen prior to the beginning of harvest in August, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Monsanto launched the genetically modified soybean designed to be resistant to the herbicides glyphosate and dicamba earlier this year in expectation of global approval. However, the company is still awaiting clearance from the EU, driving grain handlers and traders to state that they will reject deliveries containing the Xtend variety in order to avoid trade conflicts.

Two years ago global grain trade saw a significant upset when China refused U.S. shipments containing Syngenta’s Duracade corn that had not yet been approved for import by Bejing, leading to a swell of industry-wide lawsuits and loss of revenue.

Both Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences have had to create channeling plans that call for farmers to deliver certain GM crops lacking approval in foreign markets to certain locations for domestic use – an expensive and complicated endeavor.

The timing of pending approval from the EU for Xtend Soybeans is difficult to determine but the National Grain and Feed Association has cited reports linking the timing of approval for the variety with the relicensing of glyphosate, which the EU refused to extend earlier this week.

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