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New Insect Protection Technology From Monsanto Company Deregulated by USDA
Date:7/24/2008

Second Generation Corn Borer Technology Offers Greater Control of Common Pests and Provides Reduced Refuge Opportunity for Southern U.S. Growers

ST. LOUIS, July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has deregulated MON 89034, a new insect protection technology from Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON). Commercially, this new above ground insect control technology will be stacked with our leading below ground and Roundup Ready technologies to be sold as YieldGard VT Triple PRO(TM).

Pending appropriate import approvals, YieldGard VT Triple PRO is expected to be commercially available to U.S. farmers for planting in 2009.

The dual Bt protein technology in MON 89034 is also slated for use in SmartStax, a new corn platform developed by Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences with targeted availability to farmers in 2010. SmartStax will provide industry-leading protection from weeds and insects by bringing together the most comprehensive package of in-plant protection in one seed.

The YieldGard family of technologies uses a naturally-occurring bacteria found in the soil known as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to provide in-plant protection from the yield-robbing insects that feed on the corn plant. When improved through biotechnology, the corn plant produces the Bt protein(s) which, when eaten by insects feeding on the plant, is lethal to these specific insects.

YieldGard VT Triple PRO represents a step-change in Bt technology for insect protection in corn. It is the first technology to produce two different Bt proteins to protect the corn plant from common above-ground insects that feed on the plant, such as European corn borer, corn earworm, and fall armyworm while also providing the existing rootworm protection and Roundup Ready traits in a single plant.

"This technology will offer corn growers the industry's first dual mode-of-action insect protection for corn borers, controlling a broader spectrum of insects above ground," said Andrew Duff, Corn Traits Marketing Manager, Monsanto Company. "The dual-effective dose offered by YieldGard VT Triple PRO has been approved for a refuge reduction in cotton-growing regions of the South and has the opportunity to further reduce refuge acres in the Corn Belt as well. This provides growers with an opportunity for increased yield and profitability on their farms."

Currently corn growers are required to plant a "structured refuge" or plots of corn that do not use Bt technology near corn acres using in-plant protection. The current required percentage of refuge acres varies based on specific geography, but in general is set at 50 percent in the southern United States and 20 percent in the Corn Belt. Beginning in 2009, southern growers can take advantage of this reduced refuge opportunity by planting YieldGard VT Triple PRO.

Research conducted by Monsanto and reviewed by scientists at key academic institutions indicates the use of dual protein technologies, like the dual proteins for corn borer in YieldGard VT Triple PRO, allows the percentage of structured refuge in southern cotton-growing states to be reduced without negatively impacting long term effectiveness of the technology. EPA previously granted a reduced refuge requirement for YieldGard VT Triple PRO in southern states dropping the corn borer refuge requirements from 50 to 20 percent.

With previous U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA clearances, the USDA deregulation allows the 2009 launch of YieldGard VT Triple PRO in the U.S. Key international import approvals for MON 89034 have been achieved in Japan, Mexico, Canada and Colombia with other import regulatory clearances in process.

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto Company is a leading provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto, see http://www.monsanto.com/.

Note to editors: YieldGard VT Triple PRO is a trademark of Monsanto Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries.


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SOURCE Monsanto Company
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