A Message About Stewardship — Seed and Traits
Monsanto Company is committed to enhancing grower productivity and profitability through the introduction of new agricultural biotechnology traits. These new technologies bring enhanced value and benefits to growers, and growers assume new responsibilities for proper management of these traits. Growers planting seed with biotech traits agree to implement good stewardship guidelines, including, but not limited to:
• Reading, signing and complying with the Monsanto Technology/Stewardship Agreement (MTSA) and reading all annual license terms updates before purchase or use of any seed containing a Monsanto trait.
• Reading and following the directions for use on all product labels.
• Following applicable stewardship guidelines as outlined in this TUG.
• Reading and following the IRM/Grower Guide prior to planting.
• Observing regional planting restrictions mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
• Complying with any additional stewardship requirements, such as grain or feed use agreements or geographical planting restrictions, that Monsanto deems appropriate or necessary to implement for proper stewardship or regulatory compliance.
• Following the Weed Resistance Management Guidelines to minimize the risk of resistance development.
• Complying with the applicable IRM requirements for specific biotech traits as mandated by the EPA.
• Using seed containing Monsanto Technologies solely for planting a single commercial crop.
• Selling crops or material containing biotech traits only to grain handlers that confirm their acceptance, or using those products on farm.
• Not moving material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted.
• Not selling, promoting and/or distributing within a state where the product is not yet registered.
Why is Stewardship Important?
Each component of stewardship offers benefits to growers:
• Signing the MTSA provides growers access to Monsanto’s germplasm and biotech trait technologies in that seed.
• Following IRM guidelines guards against insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) and other technologies, enabling the long-term durability of these technologies and meeting EPA requirements.
• Utilizing biotech seed only for planting a single commercial crop helps preserve the effectiveness of biotech traits, and incents investment for future biotech innovations, which further improves farming technology and productivity.
Seed Patent Infringement
If Monsanto reasonably believes that a grower has planted saved seed containing a Monsanto biotech trait, Monsanto will request invoices and records to confirm that fields in question have been planted with newly purchased seed. This information is to be provided within 7 days after written request. Monsanto may inspect and test all of the grower’s fields to determine if saved seed has been planted. Any inspections will be coordinated with the grower and performed at a reasonable time to best accommodate the grower’s schedule.
Insect Resistance Management (IRM)
An effectiveIRM program is a vital part of responsible product stewardship for insect-protected biotech products. Monsanto is committed to implementing an effective IRM program for all of its insect-protected B.t. technologies in all countries where they are commercialized. Such programs strike a balance among available knowledge, practicality, and grower acceptance and implementation of the plan.
The U.S. EPA requires that Monsanto implement, and that growers who purchase insect-protected products follow an IRM plan. IRM programs for B.t. traits are based upon an assessment of the biology of the major target pests, grower needs and practices, and appropriate pest management practices. These mandatory regulatory programs have been developed and updated in cooperation with grower and consultant organizations, including the National Corn Growers Association and the National Cotton Council, extension specialists, academic scientists, and regulatory agencies.
These programs contain several important elements. One key component is a refuge. A refuge is simply a portion of the relevant crop (corn or cotton) that does not contain a B.t. technology for the insect pests targeted by the planted biotechnologies. The lack of exposure to the B.t. proteins in refuges means that there will be susceptible insects nearby to mate with any rare resistant insects that may emerge from the biotech crop. Susceptibility to B.t. products is then passed on to offspring, preserving the long-term effectiveness of the technology.
Thus, growers who purchase seeds containing B.t. traits must plant a structured refuge.* Refuge size, configuration, and management are described in detail in the relevant sections of the current IRM/Grower Guide.
Failure to follow IRM requirements and to plant a proper refuge may result in the loss of a grower’s access to Monsanto technologies. Monsanto is committed to the preservation of B.t. technologies. Please do your part to preserve B.t. technologies