WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The American Soybean Association (ASA) sent a letter on April 11 to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman that urged the administration to press the European Commission to approve three biotech soybean traits, each of which has been awaiting final approval since January.

The traits include Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant and Vistive Gold high-oleic soybeans, as well as an isoxaflutole-resistant soybean from Bayer CropScience.

“Commission officials have assured the U.S. soybean industry repeatedly during the months of February and March that there were no concerns over these dossiers and that approval would proceed in line with the Commission’s pledge to authorize those biotech events which have received positive EFSA opinions within a reasonable timeline,” said Richard Wilkins, ASA president, in the letter. “Approval of these events is needed now for the EU Commission to have any semblance of a working biotech approval process. … Timely approval by the European Commission also will avoid the risk of unnecessary costs and disruption to the essential supply of feedstocks needed by the EU’s livestock, poultry and feed industries, which are more than 70% dependent on imports of protein.”

The MON87708 x MON89788 (dicamba x glyphosate resistance) stacked soybean event has been approved in China and other major import markets, is being openly commercialized this spring, and is being planted by U.S. farmers, the letter said. The MON87705 x MON89788 (high-oleic x glyphosate resistance) soybean event is being grown by U.S. farmers under a closed loop system and is needed to U.S. farmers to provide trans-fat free soybean oil solutions to the food industry. The FG72 (isoxaflutole and glyphosate resistance) soybean event is being grown by farmers under a closed-loop system for seed increase multiplication with expected commercial launch this fall, the letter said.

The letter also mentioned that the Commission needs to approve these biotech traits in order to establish a pretense for a working biotech approval process

To read the complete letter, click here.