Pioneer, Monsanto at odds over trait usage

Du Pont, the parent company of Pioneer Hybrid, has reacted to a patent infringement lawsuit filed by competitor Monsanto. Pioneer has been paying a royalty to Monsanto since 2002 to market seed containing Monsanto’s herbicide tolerant Roundup Ready gene. Pioneer says, however, that they’ll insert their own Optimum GAT trait by 2010.

Monsanto has a problem with Pioneer’s planned use of that trait, which is also tolerant to Roundup herbicide. Du Pont Vice President James Borel says that Monsanto is trying to deny farmers access to alternative technologies when weeds are increasingly resistant to current Monsanto products.

The lawsuit says that Pioneer should not be allowed to stack the Optimum GAT trait with any soybeans already containing Monsanto’s Roundup Ready trait.

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