Monsanto Co. has obtained U.S. regulatory clearance for its next generation cotton technology, Roundup Ready Flex cotton. This announcement represents an important step forward towards the anticipated commercial launch for the 2006 growing season. Regulatory clearances in other key production and export countries are anticipated later this year.

"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 ten years," said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., chief technology officer of Monsanto.

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

It is anticipated that once all remaining regulatory approvals in key export markets are completed, Roundup Ready Flex cotton will be offered in time for the 2006 growing season as a single trait product and in combination with other traits such as Bollgard II.

Source: Company Release