Sugar beet ruling pressures USDA GMO oversight

Proponents of tighter U.S. oversight of biotech crops said on Monday a court-ordered ban on genetically-modified sugar beets is a key ruling that should lead to more thorough regulatory review of such crops. And they threatened further court action against the U.S. Department of Agriculture if the agency does not start examining the environmental and economic harm potentially associated with such crops.

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U.S. farm group wants crackdown on meatpackers

A grass-roots group of U.S. farmers and ranchers on Tuesday called for tighter government oversight of beef and poultry companies, charging that corporate monopolies are unfairly squeezing independent producers. The outcry is aimed at rallying support for the Agriculture Department’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), which is completing a new rule aimed at promoting fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry. GIPSA published the rule in June and a comment period expires Nov 22.

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Monsanto extends pledge on Roundup Ready soybeans

Monsanto Co said on Thursday it will maintain the export approval status for Roundup Ready soybeans through 2021, seven years after the company’s patent expires on the popular seed product. However, farm industry players called for further action to ensure continued availability of the biotech seed.

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Monsanto fined $2.5 mln on pesticide/seed misbrand

Monsanto Co has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for misbranding biotech cotton seeds in what regulators called the largest settlement of its kind for violating U.S. insecticide law. Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act when it sold and distributed some cotton seed products in a way that violated restrictions Monsanto had told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency it would adhere to, the EPA said.

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Monsanto, BASF to develop GMO wheat, other crops

Monsanto Co and BASF said Wednesday they will nearly double their investments into an already established joint venture to develop biotech crops, expanding their efforts to include a focus on wheat, a key food crop that as yet has no commercialized biotech variety. The companies said they were adding potentially more than $1 billion to the collaboration they formed in 2007, which already had a budget of about $1.5 billion and has been focused on developing higher-yielding and stress-tolerant versions of corn, soy, cotton and canola.

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Monsanto profit falls as Roundup struggles

Monsanto Co reported a 45 percent drop in quarterly net income on Wednesday as the global seed leader’s Roundup herbicide business continued to struggle, sending its shares down as much as 4.3 percent. Company officials, who called 2010 a “challenging year,” said while they saw a 5 percent jump in net sales of seeds and genomics, net sales of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides fell 56 percent.

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W. Virginia probing Monsanto soybean seed pricing

West Virginia officials have notified global seed giant Monsanto Co that they are probing whether or not the company engaged in unfair or deceptive practices in marketing its new genetically altered soybean seeds. The West Virginia Office of the Attorney General said in a letter to Monsanto dated June 24 that it wants to meet with officials from the St. Louis-based company to discuss investigators’ concerns that Monsanto has violated consumer protection laws.

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US court lifts limits on GMO alfalfa pending USDA

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case pitting environmentalists against biotech seed giant Monsanto Co could speed up a resumption of sales of genetically altered alfalfa, though any commercialization still depends on action by U.S. regulators.

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BASF sees growth, opportunity, in its crop units

BASF, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, is investing more in its biotech crop technology unit, pushing a raft of new products to market that should start contributing earnings to the BASF bottom line within the next couple of years, company officials said on Wednesday.

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EU moves on GMO crops a “big step”: DuPont executive

Moves by the European Union to overhaul its approval system for genetically modified crops is a “big step forward.” but it is likely to be some time before the bloc is open to wide-spread cultivation of key crops, a leading DuPont executive said on Tuesday.

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