ST. LOUIS – The European Commission approved the use of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Corn NK603 and its processed products as food and food ingredients.
Monsanto’s NK603, designed to be tolerant to the active ingredient in the Roundup family of agricultural herbicides, is marketed as Roundup Ready Corn 2 in the United States.
OK for human consumption. With the Oct. 26 decision, the European Union authorizes the use of NK603 for human consumption.
At the same time, the decision completes the steps for allowing the import, processing and use of NK603 grain in animal feed in the EU, which was announced in July 2004.
The European Commission’s decision does not include the approval of Roundup Ready Corn 2 for cultivation in the EU, which is the subject of a separate application.
Kerry Preete, vice president of U.S. crop production for Monsanto, hopes the decision is “a signal that the European Communities and its member states are serious about ending the moratorium on biotech approvals.”
Single trait only. U.S. growers who planted Roundup Ready Corn 2 hybrids (single trait, not stacked traits) should check with their local grain handler regarding that facility’s buying policy.
Monsanto is currently awaiting decisions on separate submissions for its corn trait technologies combined with NK603.
Until these separate submissions within the EU regulatory process are complete, growers planting hybrids containing Roundup Ready Corn 2 with YieldGard insect-protected technologies will need to market the grain under the Market Choices certification mark.
The Market Choices certification mark identifies those hybrids that are fully approved for food and feed use in the United States and Japan, but are still awaiting the necessary approvals in the European Union.
Roundup Ready corn technology was first introduced in the United States in 1998.
U.S. production. Monsanto’s year-end sales data for 2004 highlight that acres planted with Roundup Ready corn rose for a seventh consecutive season in the United States.
Roundup Ready corn technology is estimated to have been planted on more than 16 million acres this season, up from 12 million acres in 2003.
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