The American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased to learn that Monsanto’s second generation Roundup Ready soybean called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, also known as event MON 89788, has received regulatory approval for importation in the European Union (EU).

"The EU’s approval of the Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans is very welcome news for U.S. soybean farmers," said ASA First Vice-President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tenn., who chairs ASA’s Biotech Working Group. "I am certain the EU feedmillers and livestock producers are breathing a huge sigh of relief today knowing they will continue to have unfettered access to the high quality U.S. soybeans and soybean meal they need to be successful."

This approval provides U.S. soybean producers with continued market access to nearly half a billion consumers living in the 27 EU member states of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The European Union-27 collectively purchased 143 million bushels of U.S. soybeans and 476,000 metric tons of U.S. soybean meal with a collective value of over $1.8 billion during Marketing Year 2007-08, making it the second largest buyer of U.S. soybeans following China.

"The EU purchased 8 percent more U.S. soybeans this year compared to last year," Dodson said. "This would not have been possible without ASA’s biotechnology education and outreach programs, and its work with biotech companies to obtain international clearances in major export markets before new biotech soybean varieties are launched."

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans are the next generation of the popular Roundup Ready technology farmers have used in soybeans since 1996. This product offers the same effective weed control, simplicity and flexibility benefits of the Roundup Ready system and it promises significantly increased soybean yield potential. According to Monsanto, in four years of testing, Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans have demonstrated a consistent yield advantage of 7 to 11 percent over Roundup Ready soybeans.

"Biotechnology-improved soybeans are just one of the key technologies that will help U.S. farmers meet the world’s growing demand for food, feed and fuel made from U.S. soybeans," Dodson said. "Timely overseas regulatory approvals are critical because growers have rapidly adopted new biotech-enhanced seed varieties as soon as they became available."

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans have been approved as safe for food and feed in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan and now the European Union.