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August 16, 2019

U.S. Approves new GMO Soybean Variety from Argentina

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The Argentine biotechnology company Bioceres announced last week that they received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to market a new drought resistant soybean variety in the United States. The new GMO variety called "HB4" has also been approved for use in Brazil and they are now waiting for approval from China. The company is working with the North American company Arcadia for distribution of the new variety in the United States.

This is the first time that a Latin American company has received approval to market one of their seed varieties in the United States. A company spokesperson said there are no restrictions for its use in the U.S. and that the major seed companies do not have the technology found in HB4.

The President of Bioceres Argentina, Federico Trucco, told Reuters that with the approval from China, the company is expecting the HB4 variety to be planted on 15% to 25% of the soybean acreage in Argentina within a 3-5 year period. The Rosario Exchange estimates that farmers in Argentina planted 17.3 million hectares to soybeans in during the 2018/19 growing season (42.9 million acres).

Bioceres is expecting widespread adoption of the new technology since it is already approved in the three major soybean producing countries, Brazil, United States and Argentina, and they expect it to be approved by China, which is the major importer of soybeans.