Jan 18 (Reuters) – A controversial new biotech corn developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical,, will be delayed at least another year as the company awaits regulatory approval amid opposition from farmers, consumers and public health officials.
Dow AgroSciences officials said Friday that they now expect the first sales of Enlist for planting in 2014. Previously officials had set the 2013 planting season as a target, but U.S. farmers are already buying seed for planting this spring, and Dow has yet to secure U.S. approval for Enlist.
Dow wants to roll out Enlist corn, and then soybeans and cotton to be used in combination with its new Enlist herbicide that combines the weed-killers 2,4-D and glyphosate. The Enlist crops are genetically altered to tolerate treatments of the Enlist herbicide mixture. The hope is that Enlist will wipe out an explosion of crop-choking weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate alone.
Opponents have bombarded Dow and U.S. regulators with an array of concerns about Enlist, which is intended to replace Monsanto Co.’s successful Roundup Ready system. Genetically altered Roundup Ready corn and soybeans now dominate the U.S. corn and soybean market.
But as Roundup Ready crops have gained popularity, millions of acres of weeds have developed resistance to Roundup herbicide, causing farmers to use higher quantities of Roundup and other herbicides to try to beat back the weeds.
Critics warn that adding more herbicides to already resistant weed populations will only expand and accelerate weed resistance. Some have likened the problem to a “chemical arms race” across farm country.
Earlier this month, Kansas State University scientists said they have found evidence that some more weed types have developed resistance to glyphosate. Researchers said they sprayed two common weed types, Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, with up to four times the typical field use for glyphosate and the weeds would not die.
Next month the Weed Science Society of America will examine the weed resistance problems at a meeting in Baltimore.
Dow’s Enlist herbicide is also controversial because 2,4-D, or 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, was one of the ingredients in Agent Orange, the Vietnam War defoliant that was blamed for numerous health problems suffered during and after the war. Although the main health effects of Agent Orange were blamed on the other component of the mixture (2,4,5-T) and dioxin contamination, critics say 2,4-D has significant health risks of its own.
Several medical and public health professionals have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture warning of health threats that could accompany an increase in 2,4-D use.
But Dow officials said Friday that its product is needed soon as market research shows that cropland acres infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds increased 80 percent over the past two years.
As it awaits regulatory approval, Dow said it would showcase the Enlist system in five technology centers established in the U.S. Midwest and U.S. South to train farmers and seed sellers on Enlist application and management. It also said it will offer more than 100 small Enlist field plots at seed company and retail locations and it is hoping to also set up on-farm “experience plots” to demonstrate the product.
Dow said it plans on receiving U.S. regulatory approval this year and will “ramp up” seed production and its supply of Enlist herbicide to support commercial sales starting in late 2013 for 2014 planting. Canada granted regulatory approval in October.
“We are committed to introducing this technology responsibly and sustaining it for the long term,” Dow AgroSciences U.S. commercial leader Damon Palmer said in a statement.
DuPont, Australian Center Expand Collaboration to Focus on Wheat Production
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – DuPont and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics announced on Tuesday an expansion of an existing research collaboration to increase the scale of research aimed at improving the productivity of wheat and other crops.
The deal involves DuPont company Pioneer Hi-Bred, the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics. The new program builds on a partnership between Pioneer and ACPFG first started in 2005 and extended in 2010 to now include a new focus on wheat, the world’s largest acreage crop in the world.
In a statement, the partners said the expanded program will include the use of molecular markers to advance cereal breeding, as well as discovery research for agronomic traits and hybrid seed production in wheat. Pioneer and ACPFG will continue developing agronomic traits to increase drought tolerance and reduce the need for soil-applied nitrogen fertilizer in production crops, such as corn, soybeans, canola, rice, and sorghum.
Financial and other terms of the program expansion were not disclosed.
Wall St. Journal October, 2011
DuPont-Pannar Deal Is Stymied in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG—Dupont Co. said South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has rejected its planned purchase of a majority stake in South African seed company Pannar Seed Ltd., upholding a regulatory ruling from last year.
The rejection comes as South Africa is balking at foreign-owned companies’ buying up local assets. Regulators, for example, are taking a harder look at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s $2.4 billion merger with African retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd. which won competition approval earlier in the year.
The Pannar deal with Dupont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred unit, announced last September without citing a value, was touted as a way for the U.S. chemicals company to expand its presence in Africa, where yields have lagged for crops such as corn. Improved yields there are seen as crucial to feeding a growing world population that is consuming more meat, which requires more grain for feed. Opposition to the deal was based on worries it would stifle competition.
The companies said in a joint statement Friday they will study the tribunal’s ruling and consider further action. Full Story on WSJ
November 22, 2011 NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) DuPont and Evogene announced Monday that they will collaborate on research aimed at improving resistance to soybean rust.
DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred business will work with Rehovot, Israel-based Evogene on developing soybean varieties that display in-plant resistance to the fungal disease. The firms will jointly generate a genomic database tailored to soybean rust resistance. Evogene will use its Athlete computational genomic technology to identify genes that improve resistance to the disease, and Pioneer plans to evaluate the genes in transgenic soybeans.
Evotec is entitled to receive milestone payments and royalties on sales of any products that result from the collaboration. Specific financial details and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The firms said that they have received an approval in principle for partial funding of the project from the BIRD Foundation, a bi-national foundation funded by the Israeli and American governments to support cooperation in technology development. Full Story Here
Biotique will provide its expertise and Titan solution for next-generation sequencing management, biomarker analysis, and genotype to phenotype association, as well as its Make-Sense intellectual property to the collaboration, while DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred business will apply the platform to agricultural research.
The Titan solution includes a database to store and group data.
Pioneer will retain all intellectual property for its genetic information and crops produced as a result of the deal. No further terms of the agreement were disclosed.
According to the firms, the Titan solution will enable the handling and analysis of the millions of DNA sequence data points generated by next-generation sequencing performed by Pioneer.
“When integrated with state-of-the-art molecular marker technologies, advanced bioinformatics and global knowledge management at DuPont, these powerful genetic discovery technologies can dramatically advance scientific discovery and product delivery for customers,” they said in a statement.
John Soper, vice president of Pioneer Crop Genetics Research and Development, added that his firm has been applying sequencing technology to corn in order to improve the crop faster. The partnership, he said, will help “bring those advancements to other crops faster, an important part of increasing farmer productivity to meet future demands in agriculture.”
USAID Administrator Highlights Private Sector Partnerships to Reduce Hunger and Poverty at the World Economic Forum
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January 28, 2011
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WASHINGTON, DC – At the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah gathered with the CEOs of Unilever and Monsanto to support the launch of WEF’s global framework titled “Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture.” The show of support emphasizes USAID’s leadership in creating synergies between the public and private sectors to meet the global food security challenge.
Championed by 17 global companies and supported by key public and civil-society leaders, the New Vision framework outlines priorities and examples to illustrate the role businesses can play in meeting global food and nutrition needs through accelerated, sustainable agriculture-led growth. Through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, the New Vision for Agriculture will aim to leverage private-sector investment to scale up agricultural growth in food-insecure countries. The 17 global companies that champion the initiative are: Archer Daniels Midland, BASF, Bunge, Cargill, The Coca-Cola Company, DuPont, General Mills, Kraft Foods, Metro, Monsanto Company, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SABMiller, Syngenta, Unilever, Wal-Mart Stores and Yara International.
“We are witnessing an unparalleled opportunity right now for innovative, large-scale private sector partnerships to achieve significant impact on global hunger and nutrition,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said. “USAID is committed to creating new public-private partnerships in Feed the Future focus countries to advance their national investment plans.”
To demonstrate that commitment, Shah announced alongside President Kikwete of Tanzania that USAID is investing $2 million to Tanzania’s catalytic fund this year. The fund is devoted to delivering rapid and sustainable agricultural growth in Tanzania – with major benefits for small-scale farmers and rural communities. Results from this public-private blueprint will potentially triple Tanzania’s agricultural output, generate half a million jobs and lift two million people out of poverty, becoming a “breadbasket” for the region. USAID will join multinational companies like Yara, General Mills, Monsanto, Syngenta and others in support of the investment blueprint for years to come, and hopes to expand the blueprint in the future to at least five additional African countries.
USAID also signed a memorandum of understanding at Davos with DSM, the world’s largest manufacturer of micronutrients and vitamins, to increase the dietary quality in the developing world, starting with rice fortification in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Mali Senegal and Tanzania.
Feed the Future is working to improve agricultural productivity, promote market development, facilitate trade expansion, invest in global innovation and research, promote equitable rural economic growth, and address child malnutrition in 20 food-insecure countries.
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 17, 2010 – A group of public and private agriculture organizations today announced an alliance that will improve food security and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. The alliance will create and share new maize varieties that use fertilizer more efficiently and help smallholder farmers get higher yields, even where soils are poor and little commercial fertilizer is used.
The collaboration, known as Improved Maize for African Soils (IMAS), will be led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and funded with $19.5 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID. The project’s other partners – Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business; the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI); and the South African Agricultural Research Council (ARC) – also are providing significant in-kind contributions including staff, infrastructure, seed, traits, technology, training, and know-how.
IMAS participants will use cutting-edge biotechnology tools such as molecular markers – DNA “signposts” for traits of interest – and transgenic approaches to develop varieties that ultimately could significantly increase yield over currently available varieties, with the same amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied and/or when grown on poorer soils. The varieties developed will be made available royalty-free to seed companies that sell to the region’s smallholder farmers, meaning that the seed will become available to farmers at the same cost as other types of improved maize seed.
Peter du Pont, Chief of Party (Asia Region), has more than 25 years’ experience working on sustainable energy policies and programs, and has been working in Thailand and throughout Asia since 1989. He specializes in the design, implementation, and evaluation of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs. Dr. du Pont is an Adjunct Professor in Energy Policy at the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment in Thailand. PhD, Energy and Environmental Policy, University of Delaware; MPH, Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Berkley. Languages: Thai, French.
To help governments, the private sector, communities, and households manage critical resources to build a cleaner, safer and more prosperous world.
International Resources Group (IRG) is an international professional services firm that helps governments, the private sector, communities, and households manage critical resources to build a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous world. Since 1978, IRG has completed over 850 contracts in 140 countries, delivering high-quality,
cost-effective services that promote positive economic growth, institutional and social change, and intelligent use of resources — human, physical, environmental, and financial. IRG’s international development staff includes world-renowned specialists who have pioneered many of the analytical techniques used in their fields. IRG’s ability to provide management, economic, and technical advice is further enhanced by the diversity, cross-cultural experience, foreign language skills, and management capabilities of staff based in the Washington, DC headquarters, corporate offices in India and the Philippines, and 20 project-dedicated offices around the world.
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Public Sector Governments of over 100 countries African Development * Bank Asian Development * Bank Asia-Pacific * Economic Cooperation Secretariat * Brookhaven National Laboratory * European Economic Community * Federal Aviation Administration * Federal Emergency Management Agency * Inter-American Development Bank * International Organization for Migration * Los Alamos National Laboratory * Millennium Challenge Corporation * Oak Ridge National Laboratory * Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development * Organization of American States * State Governments of Alaska, New Mexico, and Texas * United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization * United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees * United Nations World Food Program * US Agency for International Development * US Congress * US Department of Agriculture * US Department of Commerce * US Department of Defense * US Department of Energy * US Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management * US Department of State * US Environmental Protection Agency * US Marine Corps * US Overseas Private Investment Corporation * US Post Office * US Trade and Development Program * World Bank * World Health Organization * World Meteorological Organization *
Private Sector American Gas Association * American Petroleum Institute * Ascom Energy Systems * Ashland Oil * Caribbean Basin Corporation * Center for Strategic and International Studies * Chevron * Chickasaw Nation * Chubu Electric Power Company * Duke Energy * Exxon *First Boston Corporation * Gas Research Institute * General Electric * Independent Refiners Coalition * Institute for Gas Technology * International City/County Management Association * International Institute for Energy Conservation * National Rural Electric Cooperative Association * Navajo Nation * North Texas Oil and Gas Association * Pullman Corporation * Renewable Fuels Association * Royal Dutch * Shell* Sharp Electronics *Sun Oil Company * Texaco * United Technologies * Urban Institute * US Institute of Peace * Westinghouse
Non-Governmental Organizations/Universities * American Red Cross * CARE * Center for International Earth Science Information Network (Columbia University) * Clark University * Georgetown University * Mercy Corps * Soros Foundation * State University of New York * University of Gotenborg * World Wildlife Fund
By Rolf Rosenkranz on 21 September 2011
In international development, it’s hard to bypass Washington. Because it is home to some of the world’s most generous bilateral and multilateral donors, dozens of implementing agencies have taken root in the U.S. capital and its surroundings as well.
The city’s Dupont Circle area boasts what may be the highest concentration of nonprofits and think tanks anywhere, with groups such as the Center for Global Development, Brookings Institution, Aspen Institute, United Nations Foundation, Freedom House and, a few blocks north, the D.C. offices of FHI 360.
Downtown, Pennsylvania Ave. connects the U.S. Congress with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the White House and nearby Millennium Challenge Corp. The Department of State is just a short cab ride away near the Potomac River and historic Georgetown, an affluent neighborhood with fancy shops and eateries that is a government favorite.
In the triangle between U.S. Capitol, White House and Dupont Circle are two major multilaterals, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Full List Here
- DuPont Names Leader for China Agricultural Seed Business (prweb.com)
- DuPont Accelerating Rate of Productivity Through Additional Plant Breeding (prweb.com)
- DuPonts Cellulosic Plans (C&ENtral Science) (cenblog.org)
- 5 Companies with No Regard for Human Life (businesspundit.com)