DowDuPont Inc. has received the final regulatory approval it needed to launch its new line of genetically engineered soybeans. The last country that was required for approval was the Philippines.
With international regulatory approval, farmers and seed companies do not need to worry about keeping the soybeans, named Enlist E3, out of international markets, like they do with unapproved seed varieties. China, the world’s largest soybean importer, approved Enlist E3 in January along with four other genetically modified crops. The Philippines was the top buyer of processed U.S. soybean meal last year, according to Reuters.
In 2016, the Philippines put new regulations into place for genetically modified products that require more input from government officials and often means applications will go through a lengthy process before being approved.
Resistant to three popular weed chemicals
Enlist E3 is the first genetically engineered soybean strain that has been designed to withstand sprays from popular weed chemicals 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate.
“As part of the Enlist weed control system, Enlist E3 soybeans can be sprayed with Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides to manage tough and resistant weeds,” according to a report from Ohio’s Country Journal. “Both herbicides feature 2,4-D choline with Colex-D technology to provide superior weed control with minimized potential for physical drift and near-zero volatility. Enlist herbicides reduce drift by as much as 90 percent compared with traditional 2,4-D and are up to 96 percent less volatile than 2,4-D ester.”
Enlist E3 will be available to farmers for planting this spring, but on a limited basis. In 2020, the company says Enlist E3 will be available in commercial quantities. The seed is expected to be planted on more than 10 percent of soybean acres in the U.S. and Canada in 2020. The soybeans are approved for cultivation in the U.S., Canada and Brazil.