Thursday, July 24, 2014

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NATIONAL

DAS WINS SECOND ENLIST LAWSUIT
Dow AgroSciences LLC has won a second lawsuit involving its Enlist technology. In a 28-page decision, the federal court ruled that Dow AgroSciences has the right to sell Enlist E3 soybean seed and that a lawsuit filed in January 2012 by Bayer CropScience AG seeking to prevent DAS from doing so must, therefore, be dismissed. In reaching its decision, the court indicated that it was unable to find objective evidence supporting Bayer’s arguments. The lawsuit alleged that DAS’ intention to sell Enlist E3 soybean seed infringed on several of its glyphosate tolerance patents. Enlist E3 soybeans are being jointly developed by DAS and MS Technologies.

INTERNATIONAL

CANADA/EU REACH HISTORIC TRADE AGREEMENT
Canada and the European Union have agreed in principle on a comprehensive trade agreement that will boost trade and investment ties between the two partners. This is the biggest trade agreement that Canada has ever reached, covering most aspects of the Canada/EU bilateral economic relationship, including trade in goods and services, investment, and government procurement. The agreement will provide Canada with preferential market access to the EU. Canadian agriculture and agri-food sectors stand to benefit significantly from increased access to the EU’s 28-country market. The elimination of approximately 98 percent of all EU tariff lines on the day the agreement comes into force will mean that grain producers on the Canadian Prairies who export to the EU will see their bottom lines improve. Once the final agreement is signed, it will then need to be ratified by respective parliaments.

GHANA BEGINS GM SEED FIELD TRIALS
Ghana has started field trials of genetically modified seeds in the Ashanti region of the country as well as at the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Ghana is testing three main varieties of seeds, imported into Ghana from other countries, at various locations across the nation. The three are Bt rice from Colombia, Bt cowpea from Australia and Bt cotton from South Africa. Erick Okoree, secretary to the National Biosafety Committee, says the seeds were imported from other countries because they had been tested and grew well in those nations.

FSANZ CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS ON GM LUCERNE
Food Standards Australia New Zealand has called for submissions from industry and the public for applications to change the two countries’ Food Standards Codes, to allow food derived from genetically modified lucerne (alfalfa). FSANZ chief executive Steve McCutcheon has assessed the application from GM lucerne manufacturer Monsanto Australia, saying that growers will benefit from improved yields of forage for their grazing animals. “FSANZ’s safety assessment has identified no public health and safety concerns for consumers,” says McCutcheon. Closing date for submissions was Nov. 19.

ROUNDUP READY PATENT EXPIRATION INFORMATION
The last United States patent covering the original Roundup Ready soybean trait expires in 2015. As U.S. farmers begin to think about purchasing their soybean seed for 2014 planting, they have a new resource to answer their questions about the expiration of Monsanto’s original RR soybean trait at soybeans.com. “Even though the original RR soybean trait is covered by a patent in the United States until the start of the 2015 planting season, we’re already getting questions from farmers about what they can and cannot do with RR soybeans. Soybeans.com can help answer questions growers may have about patents as they pertain to planting and saving original RR varieties,” says Norm Sissons, Monsanto’s U.S. oilseeds product management lead. The website outlines Monsanto’s commitments regarding the original RR trait patent expiration, explains patents and breeders’ rights, and also includes frequently asked questions and a decision tree on saving seed.

DAS ADVANCES INSECT-RESISTANT TRAIT
Dow AgroSciences LLC has announced it is advancing an insect-resistant trait that, when commercialized, will provide soybean farmers with the broadest spectrum for insect control against lepidopteran pests. The company’s insect-resistant soybean trait is the first to be submitted for approvals that expresses two Bt proteins. DAS says this will provide broader in-plant protection of lepidopteran pests, as well as improve sustainability of the technology compared to other soybean technologies being advanced in the market with only one Bt protein. Submitted to regulatory authorities for approval in key soybean countries as part of the global authorization process, the trait is initially targeted for commercialization in South America.

FCC SCIENTISTS DEVELOP TRANSGENIC WHEAT
Scientists at Pakistan’s Forman Christian College have developed transgenic wheat seeds that are currently being assessed for field performance by Makhdoom Hussain, director of the Wheat Research Institute of Ayub Agriculture Institute in Pakistan. The wheat germplasm seeds are the result of a project initiated by FCC’s biological sciences department in 2010. The transgenic seeds will be further screened in the field under controlled conditions, observing all the requirements of biosafety guidelines. The project’s purpose is to introduce a phytase gene that can break down phytates, increasing the bioavailability of iron and zinc.


 
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