In 2009, Monsanto first communicated its intentions regarding patent expiration of the original Roundup Ready trait in soybeans. Here are Monsanto’s commitments to famers and the industry.

To farmers:

  • Following expiration of the trait patent, U.S. farmers that are planting soybean varieties that were developed by Monsanto breeders containing the Roundup Ready® trait will have rights under any continuing variety patents to save and plant the resulting seed harvested from their fields.
  • Because of the improved yields with the Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® trait, Monsanto no longer offers seeds with the original Roundup Ready trait in its brands, but other seed companies have licensed Monsanto-developed varieties with the Roundup Ready trait and may offer them for sale. Farmers purchasing this seed will have rights to save it from their own farm and plant it on their own farm. Farmers interested in this should begin their research by checking with seed suppliers. Seed companies selling varieties covered by Monsanto’s commitments will be able to offer growers a document from Monsanto giving them the rights they need to plant saved seed of those varieties.
  • It’s important for growers to note that Monsanto does not control the policies of other breeders who developed their own Roundup Ready varieties, so farmers will need to check with their seed suppliers and those breeders about saving any of those varieties.

To the agricultural industry:

  • Monsanto will maintain full global regulatory support for this first-generation technology through 2021. This preserves farmers’ access to global export markets. We will continue to monitor and assess the planned use of this first-generation technology beyond 2021 and work with appropriate stakeholders on any extension of regulatory support that may be needed.
  • Universities will also be able to offer soybean varieties containing the Roundup Ready trait. A number of universities have been breeding with the Roundup Ready soybean trait for a number of years and they will be able to continue this both now and following expiration of the patent.

In addition to Monsanto’s commitments, Monsanto has signed the Generic Event Marketing and Access Agreement (GEMAA). The GEMAA provides a framework for a consistent industry approach when trait patents expire. The agreement helps ensure that global regulatory authorizations are maintained for biotech traits after patent expiration. The benefit to farmers: assurance that they can use seed with a generic trait event and can export grain from that seed. For more information on the GEMAA, visit www.agaccord.org.