Survey finds many non-GMO soybean breeding programs

By Ken Roseboro
Organic & Non GMO Report

Recent US Department of Agriculture figures show that 93% of soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified. A recent survey found many programs in the US are actively committed to developing new non-GMO food soybeans at public universities and small private seed companies, writes KenRoseboro.

There are many active programs committed to developing new non-GMO food soybeans at public universities and small private seed companies in the United States.

This was a key finding of a recent survey titled “2010 Analysis of the U.S. Non-GMO Food Soybean Variety Pipeline,” conducted by Dr. Jill Miller-Garvin, Dr. James H. Orf, and Dr. Seth L. Naeve of the University of Minnesota. Funding was provided by the US Soybean Export Council.

The survey found that public and private non-GMO food soybean breeding programs are increasing in size and scope, and are developing a variety of food soybeans that can be grown in a wide range of geographic regions.

Public non-GMO soybean breeding efforts are conducted at US agricultural universities, such as the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, and the University of Tennessee, and at the US Department of Agriculture. Private non-GMO breeding efforts are underway at companies such as Schillinger Genetics and Harmony Agricultural Products of Ohio.

Expanding the possibilities for food soybean production

One reason for conducting the survey was to address reports that there are fewer non-GMO soybean breeding programs—and fewer non-GMO varieties available to farmers—because major seed companies such as Monsanto and Pioneer are focusing on developing genetically modified soybeans.

Recent US Department of Agriculture figures show that 93% of soybeans grown in the US are GM.

The survey’s goal was to assess public and private soybean breeding programs in the US and compile information about non-GMO food soybean seed variety development, including varieties released in 2009 and 2010 and those slated for release in the next 3-5 years.

Read full post at Organic & Non GMO Report 2010)

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