Monsanto cleared for roundup ready flex cotton

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, March 23, 2005 (ENS): Monsanto has obtained U.S. regulatory clearance for its next generation cotton technology, Roundup Ready Flex cotton from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The company said last week that it intends to launch the genetically modified cotton for the 2006 growing season.

No restrictions on domestic planting or food and feed use of Roundup Ready Flex cottonseed exist now that the USDA and FDA have completed their review processes. Yet, Monsanto remains committed to its stewardship program for key export markets until regulatory clearance is granted in those markets.

Cottonseed is pressed for oil for human use and the residue is processed for animal feed.

“These clearances by USDA and FDA underscore the food, feed and environmental safety of this and other plant biotechnology products which have delivered tremendous value to growers and the environment over the last 10 years,” said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., chief technology officer of Monsanto.

Roundup Ready Flex cotton will provide a wider application window for Roundup agricultural herbicides throughout the growing season, providing growers with increased flexibility and convenience on the farm, the company said.

“Since the introduction of Roundup Ready cotton in 1997, growers have told us that they would like greater flexibility in making herbicide applications. Roundup Ready Flex cotton was developed to provide growers with greater flexibility throughout the season. It will also facilitate the continued adoption and management of reduced-tillage practices, and will help growers be less dependent on selective spray equipment.” Fraley said.

Campaigners against genetically modified crops argue that the modified proteins may cause allergies in sensitive people, and that organic growers cannot keep their crops free of genetic modification.

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