ST. LOUIS -- Monsanto and The Solae Company today announced an agreement to develop and market Omega-3 products for a rapidly growing market that industry experts predict could grow to as much as $7 billion by 2011. The agreement combines each company's unique strengths to deliver innovation to consumers.



The collaboration brings together research that Monsanto and The Solae Company, together with its majority owner, DuPont, have been conducting independently on soybeans containing high levels of Omega-3s, as well as Solae's work on stabilizing oil for food applications. The companies are committed to collaborating in the development of Omega-3 products, which will be marketed through Solae.



"There is a need to develop new solutions for delivering Omega-3 fatty acids in a wider variety of consumer products," said Tony Arnold, president and chief executive officer of The Solae Company. "Our goal is to accelerate the creation of a convenient, affordable and sustainable source of Omega-3 ingredients."



Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. Consumer demand for these nutrients is growing as research continues to show diets rich in Omega-3s play an important role in maintaining health, including heart health.



The actual consumption of Omega-3s by humans is much lower than the recommendations of health associations all over the world. In the United States, consumption of long-chain Omega-3s is only one-fifth of American Heart Association recommendations.



Market researchers have projected sales of Omega-3-infused foods will grow at a 60 percent compounded annual rate from 2002 to 2011, prompting concerns that demand could soon outstrip supply and threaten fish stocks. This collaboration seeks to cultivate a new, more sustainable source of Omega-3 products that can be used as ingredients in many different food applications.



"Soybeans represent a renewable, land-based source of Omega-3s," said Jerry Steiner, executive vice president of Monsanto. "We believe this collaboration will allow us to bring to market a variety of sustainable Omega- 3 ingredients that will nutritionally enhance foods that consumers already enjoy. We're excited about the possibilities."



The Solae Company advances global nutrition through food ingredient innovation. Headquartered in St. Louis, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the company is a DuPont majority-owned joint venture with Bunge Limited.



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




SOURCE: Monsanto Company; The Solae Company via PR Newswire.