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GM, Drought-Tolerant Corn Gains Approval

BRUSSELS and ST. LOUIS—The European Commission approved three genetically modified corn varieties from Syngenta AG for food and feed use, import and processing after member states failed to provide a qualified majority either in favor or against the approvals. The approval does not allow for cultivation.

The approved Syngenta corns are MIR604 x GA21, Bt11 x MIR604 and Bt11 x MIR604 x GA21, which combine insect resistance traits with herbicide tolerance. The authorizations are valid for 10 years and will be subject to the EU’s labeling and traceability rules.

Meanwhile in the United States, Monsanto received deregulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for MON 87460, the company's first-generation drought-tolerant trait for corn, which is projected to be introduced as part of an overall system that would offer farmers improved genetics, agronomic practices and the drought trait.

Monsanto plans to conduct on-farm trials in 2012 to give farmers experience with the product, while generating data to help inform the company's commercial decisions. For the 2012 trials, Monsanto plans to have Genuity VT Triple PRO and Genuity VT Double PRO technology serve as the agronomic trait platform to be used with the drought-tolerant trait. The technologies offer growers excellent insect protection and tolerance to Roundup agricultural herbicides.

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