First drought-tolerant GM trait deregulated

The first genetically modified trait that will help give crops extra drought tolerance has been deregulated in the USA.

Deregulation for Monsanto’s MON 87460, which has been developed in collaboration with BASF, was given by the US Department of Agriculture. It means the product can be field tested under strict stewardship guidelines until the necessary approvals have been obtained in key export markets. Seed production is also allowed.

Monsanto plans to introduce the trait in maize in combination with its insect protection and herbicide-tolerance traits. Two products will be trialled in 2012 in the Western Great Plains to see how the system performs on farm.

“Our drought system is designed to help farmers mitigate the risk of yield loss when experiencing drought stress, primarily in areas of annual drought stress,” said Hobart Beeghly, Monsanto’s US product management lead.

The firm has also received notice of deregulation for its Vistive Gold soya beans, which have been genetically modified to produce soya bean oil with increased levels of monounsaturated fat, while significantly lowering saturated fat.

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