Europe approves high-oleic soybeans

by Jeff Gelski
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While not being partially hydrogenated, high-oleic soybeans have less saturated fat than regular soybeans and more oleic acid.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Commission on April 24 authorized two high-oleic soybean oil varieties, Plenish from DuPont Pioneer and Vistive Gold from Monsanto, for use in food.

“We are especially pleased with the announcement with regard to high-oleic soybeans, which will give food processors the frying and baking qualities they need in an oil without the need for partial hydrogenation, which produces trans fats,” said Richard Wilkins, first vice-president for the American Soybean Association.

While not being partially hydrogenated, high-oleic soybeans have less saturated fat than regular soybeans and more oleic acid, which provides functional benefits in oil. Bob Galloway, a consultant for Qualisoy, previously said the prolonged timeline for E.U. approval delayed the expansion of high-oleic soybean acreage.

In total on April 24, the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, approved 10 new authorizations for genetically modified organisms (G.M.O.s) for food/feed use and 7 renewals of existing authorizations. The authorization decisions pertain to use in food or feed, but they do not cover cultivation.

“On the one hand, we’re happy to see these traits finally receive commission approval after years of delay,” Mr. Wilkins said. “The 17 products approved by the European Commission today have been pending for 69 months on average despite E.U. laws and regulations that foresee an 18-month time period for a decision. Whenever our technology partners bring a new trait to market, farmers in the U.S. aren’t able to fully recognize the benefits of products with those traits until they are accepted in all of our key export markets. So this is a big, big step forward.”
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