Monsanto, a leading U.S. seed and crop technology company that markets it's products around the globe, has told soybean organizations in various states as well as companies that license the use of technology traits from Monsanto, that it will let farmers continue to grow its first-generation Roundup Ready soybeans after the patent on the seed's genetic trait expires in 2014. Monsanto in 2009 introduced a newer and more expensive version of the glyphosate resistant soybean, Roundup Ready 2 Yield. That prompted speculation that the company would refuse to allow farmers and licensees the use of the original Roundup Ready genetic trait after 2014. But in a letter in December that was sent to farm organizations and farmers, James Tobin, vice president of marketing at Monsanto in St. Louis, said, Monsanto will not use variety patents against U.S. farmers who save soybean varieties containing the Roundup Ready 1 trait for planting on their own farms after the patent expiration.
Roundup Ready has been main biotech tool for weed control
Tobin also said, "Over the last few weeks we have confirmed with seed company licensees that they can continue to provide farmers with soybeans containing the Roundup Ready 1 trait through the patent expiration and beyond. Roundup Ready has been the primary biotech tool to be used with Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide Roundup, to fight weeds on fields across America. It is used to a more limited extent in many other countries, too. Because Roundup is used so widely, the generic trait to resist it has become a virtual necessity for all other seed companies and its licensing hasn't only expanded Monsanto's revenues and profits, but also has generated controversy in competition with other companies that produce seed products and weed control products.