Herbicide-tolerant crops step closer after EU patent

Herbicide-tolerant crops produced via what its developers claim are conventional breeding techniques have moved a step closer with the approval of a new patent.

The European patent has been granted to Cibus for the production of crops resistant to herbicides, such as glyphosate.

Developed by Cibus, in San Diego, the technique, known as Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS), uses the plant’s own DNA to change its genetic code and produce new traits.

Crucially, unlike genetically modified crops, no foreign genetic material is added to the plant.

“This patent marks a significant milestone for Cibus and the European farming community,” said Stephen Evans Freke, chairman of the board for Cibus Global.

“We and our European partners believe European farmers will increasingly demand non-GM glyphosate tolerant crops, and that Cibus-developed products will become the standard-bearer for crops that meet this demand and are accepted as such by farmers and


In the past few months, Cibus has struck deals with BASF on oilseed rape/canola and Makhteshim-Agan to develop crop traits using RTDS. A decision is pending from the EU on whether to classify RTDS as a non-GMO technology.

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