Market News & Headlines >> Monsanto Soybean, Cotton Seeds Approved

Monsanto on Thursday received final approval from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for soybean and cotton seeds genetically engineered to be tolerant of a number of herbicides including dicamba.

APHIS said Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant trait technologies – Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans and Bollgard II® XtendFlex™ cotton had been granted "non-regulated" status and notice would soon be published in the Federal Register.

The seeds are designed for use with a new formulation of dicamba and glyphosate – the pesticide marketed by Monsanto under the Roundup® brand name – that is intended to combat the rise of glyphosate-resistant weeds.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must still approve the new crops. EPA is “nearing completion of its concurrent review” of the new pesticide formulation, USDA officials told The Wall Street Journal.

Monsanto is also still awaiting approval from Chinese regulators to allow imports of the new soybean. Recently, Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley told analysts on a quarterly earnings conference call that the company expects to have Chinese approval in time for a commercial launch in 2016.