Slow-moving bureaucracy in the Philippines could block launch of new GMO soybeans in US, Canada

, | | February 14, 2019
soybean
Credit: South China Morning Post
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A Philippines regulator poses an unexpected obstacle to DowDuPont’s launch of a new line of genetically engineered soybeans in the United States as the company challenges Bayer AG’s decades-long dominance of the U.S. seed market.

China’s January approval for imports of DowDuPont’s Enlist E3 soybeans – amid the U.S.-China trade war – had raised hopes that the seeds would be broadly available for the U.S. spring planting season. It took more than five years for the company to win China’s approval.

But DowDuPont now says widespread sales of Enlist seeds in the United States, Canada and Brazil may be delayed until the 2020 planting seasons unless the Philippines regulator moves quickly.

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Although China has historically been the No. 1 importer of U.S. soybeans, the Philippines last year was the top buyer of processed U.S. soymeal, used primarily to feed livestock.

A slow start would be a missed opportunity for DowDuPont because farmers are eager to reduce their reliance on Bayer, which acquired seed giant Monsanto last year.

In the Philippines, the tougher rules imposed [in 2016] by regulators came after the nation’s Supreme Court demanded an overhaul of genetically modified crop approvals, acting on a petition by environmental activists.

Read full, original article: How a Philippines regulator stymied DowDuPont’s global seed launch

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