Source: ASA news release

The American Soybean Association welcomes the recent announcements that two new biotech-enhanced soybean varieties, the Roundup Ready 2 Yield Soybean (MON 89788) from Monsanto and the LibertyLink soybeans (A2704-12) from Bayer CropScience have both achieved additional import approval milestones from Korean regulatory agencies that pave the way for commercialization in the United States.

"The American Soybean Association recognizes the efforts of South Korean regulators to move forward with authorizations for these new soybean varieties," said ASA President Johnny Dodson, a producer from Halls, Tenn. "These approvals are critical to U.S. soybean growers and to our soybean and soybean product customers in South Korea."

The Roundup Ready 2 Yield Soybean received food safety approval from the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) on Feb. 27. The approval from KFDA, along with the environmental safety authorization received from the Rural Development Administration (RDA) on Jan. 19, completes a two-year regulatory review process in Korea. As such, and together with other previous obtained approvals, there are no longer any requirements for planting and movement stewardship restrictions on soybeans with the Roundup Ready 2 Yield trait in the United States.

LibertyLink Soybeans also reached another milestone in South Korea with the approval by RDA on Feb. 25. The LibertyLink Soybean application now moves into the final stages for approval under KFDA. This will include a 20-day public comment period.

"We are optimistic this latest development indicates full import approval is likely very soon," Dodson said.

LibertyLink Soybeans are approved for food, feed and cultivation in the United States and Canada and approved for import into Australia, China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Africa and Taiwan.

"ASA has worked in partnership with Bayer CropScience and Monsanto to educate foreign buyers on biotechnology and for regulatory clearances of these new traits," Dodson said.

ASA has also worked closely with the South Korean industry for approval of these new soybean traits. In January, ASA Board member and ASA Biotech Working Group member Ron Moore traveled to South Korea to join American Soybean Association International Marketing (ASA-IM) South Korea Director Say Young Jo and representatives of U.S. Grains Council, the North American Export Grain Association and biotech company representatives for meetings with South Korean feed industry representatives, soybean and corn processors, and soy and corn product importers on the urgent need for South Korea to complete its regulatory review and approvals.