ST. LOUIS -- Monsanto Company announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved full production of POSILAC(R) bovine somatotropin (bST) at its manufacturing facility in Augusta, Ga.

POSILAC bST is used to enhance milk production and serves as an important tool to help dairy producers improve the efficiency and profitability of their operations.

"Full FDA approval of our Augusta facility is good news for U.S. dairy producers who choose to enhance the profitability of their operations with POSILAC bST," said Kevin Holloway, president of Monsanto's dairy business. "This additional production capacity will help us meet the full needs of our current customers. Once we can do that, we will begin to supply new customers with POSILAC bST."

With FDA approval of the Augusta plant complete, Monsanto is increasing production.

"The Augusta plant will start making POSILAC bST for U.S. dairy producers immediately," said Deborah Small, Director of Manufacturing for Monsanto's dairy business. "POSILAC bST also is manufactured at an FDA-approved facility in Austria. FDA approval to formulate and package POSILAC bST at our Augusta plant allows production at both locations."

Monsanto employs more than 200 people full-time at the Augusta facility, which is the largest pharmaceutical-grade protein manufacturing facility in the world. Construction of the plant was started in 1998, and the FDA approved the plant to produce the active ingredient in POSILAC bST in August 2003. Now the plant has full approval to formulate and package POSILAC bST for use by dairy producers.

Since it was first sold in 1994, POSILAC bST has become one of the leading dairy animal supplements in the United States. Supplementing dairy cows with POSILAC bST safely enhances milk production and serves as an important tool to help dairy producers improve the efficiency of their operations, Monsanto said. Cows supplemented with POSILAC bST produce an average of 10 lb. more milk per day.

POSILAC bST can play a role in helping farmers with herds of all sizes produce more milk per cow. This provides dairy farmers with additional economic security by increasing the return on their investment.

Monsanto Company is a leading provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

SOURCE: Monsanto Company via PR Newswire.