GENET archive


2-Plants: Monsanto launches non-GE low-linolenic soybeans

                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Monsanto Launches Vistive(TM) Soybeans; Will Provide a Trans Fats
        Solution for the Food Industry
SOURCE: Monsanto, USA, Media Release
DATE:   1 Sep 2004 

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Monsanto Launches Vistive(TM) Soybeans; Will Provide a Trans Fats
Solution for the Food Industry
Asgrow(R) Continues to Set the Standard in Soybean Performance and Grower
Profitability with a Premium Opportunity on Low-Linolenic Soybeans.

ALLEMAN, Iowa (Sept. 1, 2004) - Responding to the growing demand for
healthier foods, Monsanto today announced the development and
commercialization of new, low-linolenic soybeans produced through
conventional breeding that will reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids
(trans fats) in processed soybean oil, while maintaining performance
parity with leading soybean varieties.

Kerry Preete, Vice President of U.S. Crop Production, said that Monsanto
will offer the opportunity to hundreds of Iowa growers to plant these
soybeans for the 2005 crop season. The soybeans will be the first to
carry the VISTIVE(TM) brand, Monsanto's new line of products offering
direct consumer benefits - specifically, enhanced food-grade oils.

Producers will grow the soybeans under contract with participating
soybean processors, which will crush the grain, refine the oil and market
that oil to food companies. Participating processors will offer growers a
premium for the VISTIVE soybeans. Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) will be a
participating soybean processor for 2005. Monsanto is finalizing programs
with additional participating processors and anticipates announcing
details in the next few weeks.

Monsanto's leading soybean breeders and research scientists have worked
for more than a decade to develop VISTIVE soybeans, which Preete said not
only provide yield parity with leading soybean varieties but also
maintain outstanding agronomic benefits.

"We are very excited to give growers the opportunity to earn a premium on
VISTIVE soybeans without sacrificing performance," said Preete, who
announced the commercialization of the new low-linolenic soybeans at the
2004 Farm Progress Show. "Growers don't have to trade off yield and
agronomics for this premium opportunity." For 2005, VISTIVE soybeans will
be available in Monsanto's Asgrow(R) brand.

VISTIVE soybeans, which will have the Roundup Ready(R) trait, contain
less than 3% linolenic acid, compared to 8% for traditional soybeans,
resulting in a more stable soybean oil, with a better flavor profile, and
less need for hydrogenation. Because soybeans with less linolenic acid
reduce or eliminate the need for partial hydrogenation, trans fats in
processed soybean oil can be reduced or eliminated.

Trans fats are created in the partial hydrogenation process, which is
used to increase shelf life and flavor stability in fried foods, baked
goods, snack products and other processed foods. Trans fats are linked to
heart disease, because they lower HDL (good) cholesterol while raising
LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Investment in Soybeans

Preete said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's mandate to include
trans fat labeling on food products beginning January 1, 2006, is a major
factor driving the demand for low-linolenic soybean oil. VISTIVE could
establish a new standard for the performance of food-grade oils, as the
U.S. consumes more than 18 billion pounds of soybean oil annually, he said.

Monsanto, he said, is continuing to invest revenue in soybean research
and development, moving from agronomic traits to the next wave of quality
and compositional enhancements that will benefit growers and consumers.
"Monsanto has been a leader in developing technology to make U.S. soybean
growers more competitive," said Preete. "Roundup Ready Soybeans ushered
in a new era of agronomic benefits for farmers. Our current research is
focused on oils with consumer benefits that will allow growers to earn a
premium. VISTIVE soybeans with low levels of linolenic acid, the first
product in this effort, represent a payoff from our investment in technology."

Preete said Monsanto has met with leading food companies and is well
aware of their interest in reducing trans fats. "We're working closely
with these manufacturers to understand their oil and protein needs, and
we're confident that our robust product pipeline will be able to meet
their objectives and provide consumers with improved choices," he said.

Increasing the Competitiveness of U.S. Soybeans

Preete noted that VISTIVE soybeans support the strategic direction of
QUALISOY, an industry coalition devoted to developing and commercializing
enhanced compositional traits that add value to U.S. soybeans. Monsanto
announced earlier this year that it is supporting the QUALISOY program
with important gene sequence data and an USD 8.4 million grant earmarked
for ongoing research and communication.

"The development of VISTIVE soybeans not only improves the
competitiveness of growers, it also meets the needs of the food
industry," said John Becherer, Chief Executive Officer of QUALISOY. "We
appreciate Monsanto's investment in the future of the U.S. soybean
industry, as low linolenic acid and other compositional traits will
benefit the industry for the long term."

Monsanto's announcement drew praise from the American Soybean
Association. "We are very pleased by the introduction of VISTIVE
soybeans, and the opportunity for our growers to participate in its
success," said Ron Heck, ASA Chairman. "This is exactly the kind of
quality improvement needed to ensure the future competitiveness of U.S.
soybeans and soybean oil in the global market. Raising soybeans with
improved compositional traits such as low linolenic acid represents the
future for our growers."

Preete said Monsanto is committed to working with the soybean industry to
continue strengthening that competitive position. "The industry
understands that we need to shift to a quality platform to be competitive
in the future, and Monsanto is proud to lead the way in supporting that
goal," he said.

Expanding Industry Opportunities

Monsanto and participating soybean processors, in cooperation with ASA
and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), will work together to pursue
grower contracts from now through the end of the seed sales season.
Participants in the 2005 planting program will have preferred status when
the program is expanded in 2006.

ASA Chairman Ron Heck commented, "This is another premium-growing
opportunity that ASA and ISA are pleased to make available to our members
and those growers who become members as part of this program."

Preete emphasized that Monsanto is committed to creating additional
opportunities throughout the soybean industry with its low-linolenic
program. "As with our other technology innovations, our intent with
VISTIVE soybeans is to increase the choices available to growers by
expanding the number of participating seed companies and soybean
processors," he said. "We anticipate adding seed and processing partners
in 2006."

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based
solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and
food quality. For more information on Monsanto, see

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Soy products make progress
SOURCE: The Hawk Eye, USA, by Mike Augspurger
DATE:   1 Sep 2004 

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Soy products make progress

1 Sep 2004 ALLEMAN -- Two southeast Iowa companies are promoting new ideas
at the Farm Progress Show because they know their beans -- soybeans.

ASOYIA, a newly formed company in Winfield, will begin marketing its
brand of heart-healthy, trans fat free soybean oil to customers
nationwide in November.

The Long Creek Candle Co. in Winfield is the maker of candles made from
soybean wax. They burn cleanly without leaving soot.

The candle company was one of six that make a soybean-related product to
be asked by the Iowa Soybean Association to show off their products at
the show that ends Thursday in Alleman, about a half-hour north of Des Moines.

The soybean oil contains only 1 percent linolenic -- pronounced lin o LEN
ic -- acid, a component of soybean oil that causes it to become stale or
rancid over time.

To extend its freshness and useful life in frying applications, soybean
oil is hydrogenated. The chemical process of hydrogenation creates trans
fatty acids in the oil. Trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in
the blood and lower HDL (good) cholesterol.

The food industry is looking for oils with less trans fatty acids,. In
January 2006, the Food and Drug Administration will require manufacturers
to list the amount of trans fatty acids on food labels.

The new soybean oil is a product of research by Iowa State University
agronomists and food scientists that began in the late 1960s. By the
early 1990s, they had isolated three soybean genes that control the
linolenic acid trait. Eventually, their research lowered linolenic acid
content from the 7 percent in conventional soybean oil to the 1 percent
in the ASOYIA oil.

"Our oil is an excellent alternative to hydrogenated oils for the food
industry," said Jim Jensen, farm management specialist for southeast
Iowa. He was among others in the Iowa State Extension tent promoting its use.

Today, however, another version of the oil is expected to be announced by
Monsanto. Jensen and others believe their product has the advantage.
Monsanto's is expected to have up to 2 1/2 percent linolenic content and
only available through genetically modified organism seed.

The product that is being raised on about 10,000 acres in southeast Iowa
is available in a non-GMO form, which carries a bigger advantage in the
world market, Jensen said. Harvested seed will be 30 to 50 cents more a
bushel because of its non-GMO soybean meal is favored by the Asian world.

The 1 percent linolenic oil was tested last year by an Iowa State
professor, who said it has superior flavor stability when compared to
other soybean oils tested. It lasted 25 to 33 percent longer in frying
applications than other current premium frying oils. The fried products
stay crispier longer and taste the same as those fried in hydrogenated
soybean oil.

Jensen said the Iris Restaurant and others in the area have had good
success with the oil.

"Dave Heaton loves it," he said of the owner of the Iris Restaurant in
Mount Pleasant.

Richard Talbott also has his company's products scattered in several
southeast Iowa locations. In total, he has 85 places from Minnesota to
Alabama selling his candles made from soybean wax.

The candles are sootless, but have brilliant colors and a variety of
scents. They come in four sizes and 32 fragrances.

Talbott recently sold the company to his daughter, Jodi Bysen, and her
husband, Duane. Talbott, however, remains a salesman and he likes to sell.

He was excited that their candles were chosen for the show where
officials expect to have about 100,000 visitors in three days. The first
2,000 sample candles available on Tuesday went fast, he said.

A recent show in Kansas City also has helped the company.

"We got 32 brand new clients. You don't do that everyday," Talbott said.


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