What’s legal on the LL-GT27 soybean appendix

If you have been directed here from the recent C.O.R.N. article about this issue, below are the statements/positions of Bayer and BASF about legality of glyphosate on the LL-GT27 soybean.

Bayer

With the recent approval of LibertyLink GT27 soybeans for sale in the U.S., we have received several questions around the ability to apply Roundup brand agricultural herbicides over the top of LibertyLink GT27 soybeans. Please review the following talking points that can be used with retailers and farmers.

  • It is important to note that pesticide products can only be used and promoted in accordance with label instructions, and it is a violation of federal law to use or promote a pesticide product for an unregistered or non-labeled use. In order for any pesticide product to be legally used over the top of LibertyLink GT27 soybeans, such use must first be approved by the US EPA.
  • Unfortunately, Roundup brand agricultural herbicides are not currently registered for use over the top of LibertyLink GT27 soybeans. As such, the use of Roundup brand agricultural herbicides over the top of LLGT27 soybeans are not allowed, and we cannot promote such use. The only type of crop currently labeled on the Roundup brand agricultural herbicides labels for over the top usage are Roundup Ready crops.
    • In our label review of other glyphosate products in the market, those products as currently labeled also seem not to be approved for usage over-the-top of LibertyLink GT27 soybeans. As always, we recommend you review any label for allowable uses and always follow label instructions.
  • It is also important to note that the same laws and restrictions on use apply to all pesticide products. Growers should thus check all product labels for approved uses and read and follow all pesticide label directions before applying a pesticide product over the top of LLGT27 soybeans (or any traited crop).
  • Additionally, without full testing, we cannot assure crop safety with this new type of use.
  • We are, however, evaluating our potential options and plans moving forward regarding this new soybean technology, and if/when this new use is added to our label, we will inform this team.

BASF

BASF’s position regarding the labelled use of glyphosate herbicides over the top of GT27TM or LibertyLink® GT27TM:

LibertyLink® GT27TM and GT27TM contain 2mEPSPS, a glyphosate tolerant gene. Any glyphosate herbicide with an EPA approved label for over the top use which states it is for use on soybeans that contain a glyphosate tolerant gene and not limited to crops containing the Roundup Ready® gene, may be applied to LibertyLink® GT27TM and GT27TM in accordance with the EPA approved label.

Background

  • The language used throughout labels of registered pesticides can refer to traits/products or to genes. The approved language can make a specific herbicide label claim more or less restrictive. US EPA over time has selected different ways in which to define the approved use of the labelled product, resulting in some label ambiguity EPA has yet to address.
  • Label language for use over glyphosate-tolerant crops varies in important ways across the various different commercial glyphosate products.
  • For many years, there was only one glyphosate-tolerant gene used in the crop seed market, that being cp4epsps, the Monsanto (now Bayer/Monsanto) Roundup Ready gene, and so the referenced label inconsistencies did not result in any meaningful ambiguity. Now that there are multiple glyphosate-tolerant GMO seeds commercially available, those ambiguities raise questions EPA has yet to answer. However as noted above, certain of the labels as currently written do allow for use on products with a different glyphosate tolerant gene.
  • Currently there are several such genes in commercial use with one or more crops. Glyphosate-tolerant crops contain one of these patented glyphosate-tolerant genes (e.g. cp4epsps; 2mepsps; mepsps;)▪ cp4epsps: The Bayer/Monsanto Roundup Ready gene is cp4epsps

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▪ 2mepsps: The BASF gene is 2mepsps, which is the glyphosate tolerance gene in:

o GT27 and Liberty LGT27 from MS Technologies (co-developed with BASF) and

o E3 from Corteva/MS Technologies
▪ mepsps: The glyphosate tolerance gene in commercial Syngenta corn event

GA21

  • We have submitted soybean residue data demonstrating glyphosate tolerance for both GT27 and LibertyLink GT27, so glyphosate product labels should not be limited to certain branded glyphosate-tolerant crops.
  • To clarify and recognize that there are multiple glyphosate-tolerant genes available, EPA label language should not be restricted to certain branded glyphosate-tolerant crops (e.g., Roundup Ready).
  • This issue isn’t limited to soybeans as there are numerous glyphosate tolerant seedproducts currently on the market that are not Roundup Ready branded products.
  • EPA has stated “as a regulatory agency, the EPA maintains a neutral positionregarding biotechnology.” EPA should not necessarily favor one lawfully commercialized biotech trait over another on any basis other than as the law requires.https://www.epa.gov/regulation-biotechnology-under-tsca-and-fifra/introduction-biotechnology-regulation- pesticidesCommercially available, EPA-registered glyphosate products:

    Glyphosate products having an EPA approved label for over the top use which states it is for use on soybeans that contain a glyphosate tolerant gene, and not limited to crops containing the Roundup Ready gene, may be applied to GT27TM or LibertyLink® GT27TM inaccordance to the EPA approved label.

     

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Q&A

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  1. What is the difference between a Roundup Ready gene and a glyphosate tolerant gene?The Roundup Ready gene is a type of glyphosate tolerant gene. The gene in theGT27TM and LibertyLink® GT27TM soybean is a different gene that also provides tolerance to glyphosate.
  2. Is glyphosate safe for over the top (OTT) use on GT27TM or LibertyLink® GT27TM?GT27TM or LibertyLink® GT27TMsoybeans exhibit commercially acceptable tolerance to all glyphosate formulations tested to date.
  3. May glyphosate be tankmixed and applied with Liberty for use over LibertyLink GT27 soybeans?Yes, glyphosate products approved for use on LibertyLinkGT27 may be tankmixed with Liberty, unless doing so would be an off-label use, because LibertyLinkGT27 contains a gene that confers glufosinate tolerance as well as glyphosate tolerance. In fact, adding glyphosate to Liberty can improve control of difficult grasses and some broadleaves.
  4. How should these glyphosate products be used on GT27 and LibertyLink GT27 soybeans?Always follow all label directions and restrictions on all products including rates and timing. If you have questions, ask the company that registered that glyphosate product or US EPA.

 

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