Monsanto says new GMO soybeans likely to debut in 2016
- Monsanto expects to begin selling a new breed of soybean seeds in 2016. The St. Louis-based company says the USDA issued a draft review of the seeds earlier this month.
- The agricultural chemical company has sought USDA approval for the seeds since 2010, but the review process has gone slowly, as advocacy groups raised concerns about safety.
- The new seeds are designed to produce plants that are resistant to a new generation of Monsanto's Roundup brand of weedkiller.
In a sense, Monsanto's new seeds won't change a thing. Some 90% of America's soybean crop is already produced through GMO seeds and high-tech herbicides. A new generation of seeds and weedkillers won't bring anything truly new into the food supply.
The reason farmers want a new version of Roundup is because weeds across the farm belt have developed an immunity to the older versions. Which means the chemicals needed to kill them must be stronger. And the soybean plants in which the weeds live must be made immune to the stronger chemicals.
Monsanto may very well win the battle to find crops resistant to stronger weed killers. And in a world where millions of people face starvation, it may be imperative that science win. Still, the company will most likely face criticism from advocacy groups until then.
- Wall Street Journal Monsanto Expects 2014 U.S. Approval for New Soybean Seeds
- St. Louis Business Journal Monsanto expects U.S. approval for new soybeans this year