Farm Bureau welcomes Monsanto pledge to support biotech soybeans after patent expiration

By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, July 8 – In a July 8 letter to farm organizations, Monsanto confirms that for its proprietary Roundup Ready® soybean trait (RR1) “upon expiration of the RR1 patents, the technology can be used by seed companies and their farmer customers without any royalty payments to Monsanto.” Monsanto also notes that it will maintain “international regulatory support for RR1 from 2017 through 2021.”

Monsanto notes that “Soybean breeders and seed companies have development and marketing rights that run through patent expiration, which means they are in a position to offer RR1 seeds as a generic product beginning in 2015.”

Reacting to the Monsanto commitments, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman stated Thursday that:

  • “Ensuring a viable international marketplace for biotech crops once their patents expire is a matter of extreme importance to America’s farmers and ranchers. Farmers who choose to continue planting a biotech crop no longer covered by patents, from either purchased or saved seed, must be able to count on those crops being accepted in international markets. Due to the often-shifting sands of international trade regulations, however, maintaining approval for any biotech crop can be an expensive, time-consuming matter.”

  • “That is why we applaud an announcement made by Monsanto that it is willing to extend its international regulatory support for ‘Roundup Ready’ (RR1) soybeans until 2021. The patent to those soybeans expires in 2014. In the short-term, this extension provides additional security to help limit trade disruptions as the agriculture community works toward the goal of maintaining international approval for products no longer covered by patents.”

  • “While this announcement is encouraging, Farm Bureau recognizes the need for a long-term approach to address a future where multiple generic biotech products will exist in the marketplace. To that point, we are committed to working through the industrywide dialogue hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, as well as through other channels as necessary to ensure that generic products are available to our farmers and that those products continue to have marketplace acceptance abroad. We look forward to working with all stakeholders on this issue in a constructive and transparent fashion.”

To read Monsanto's two-page letter sent to farm organizations regarding RR1 soybeans, go to:

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