China approves Bayer’s third-generation corn rootworm trait for import

U.S. SmartStax PRO Technology slated for 2022 commercial launch

Bayer has announced receipt of the final safety certificate for import and food/feed use from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for the company’s third-generation corn rootworm trait (MON 87411). This approval represents the final key authorization for commercial introduction of SmartStax PRO Technology in the United States, say Bayer officials. 
 
SmartStax PRO Technology is the next generation of corn rootworm protection, and the first product offering three modes of action for corn rootworm control. It combines the proven benefits of SmartStax Technology corn rootworm protection with a novel RNAi-based mode of action, providing improved control of corn rootworm over a range of pressure. (This is based upon 2019-2020 Bayer internal trials comparing leading corn rootworm technologies in field with moderate to heavy corn rootworm pressure.)

“We’re excited to receive this authorization and look forward to putting SmartStax PRO Technology in the hands of our grower customers,” said Scott Stein North America corn product management lead, in a Bayer news release. “The introduction of a novel mode of action like RNAi will provide growers yet another tool to help control tough corn rootworm pests.”
 
RNAi-based technologies are developed from a naturally occurring process in the targeted plant or pest to stop or decrease the production of a specific protein and can be used to target specific pests, like the corn rootworm.
 
In addition to corn rootworm, SmartStax PRO Technology will offer growers protection against European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, fall armyworm, black cutworm and corn earworm.
 
“This is another example of Bayer’s continued commitment to providing new, innovative solutions and industry-leading technology that help growers address the tough challenges they face on their farms,” said Calvin Treat, head of crop technology for corn, soybeans and cotton, in a Bayer news release. “We’re confident that SmartStax PRO Technology will provide tremendous value for growers.” 
 
Bayer plans to conduct on-farm grower market development trials in 2021, while ramping up volume to meet grower needs for a U.S. commercial launch in 2022. Bayer also expects to have products to launch in Canada in 2023.

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