Vistive Gold Soybeans
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) submitted comments this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in support of deregulation of the MON 87705 event, a biotech trait in Vistive Gold soybeans. Deregulation would make Vistive Gold soybeans commercially available for the production of high-oleic soybean oil.
Vistive Gold soybeans use modern plant science methods, including biotechnology, to modify the fatty acid composition of the bean. Doing so significantly improves the stability of the oil. This means food companies can use Vistive Gold high-oleic soybean oil for frying, cracker and snack food production, and baking applications and have the ability to lower levels of saturated fat while eliminating trans fat in the products. Hydrogenation of the soybean oil is not necessary, and the oil has 60 percent less saturated fat than conventional soybean oil.
"Biotech soybeans have been grown safely in the U.S. since 1996," says Matt Hughes, ISA chairman and soybean farmer from Shirley, Ill. "High-oleic Vistive Gold soybeans from Monsanto, along with the already deregulated high-oleic Plenish soybeans from Pioneer, offer Illinois soybean farmers and the U.S. soy industry tremendous opportunity. We can regain the four-billion-pound domestic soybean oil market lost as a result of trans fat labeling."
Hughes notes that Illinois soybean farmers and U.S. consumers have previously experienced the benefits of first-generation Vistive low-linolenic soybeans. The low linolenic acid content means food companies can use the oil to produce foods with zero or low trans fat. Such traits increase the value of soybean oil and enhance the health profile for consumers.
"Addition of the high-oleic trait will further support a healthy diet, and consumers will have the opportunity to support Illinois farmers by purchasing food products made from a locally grown product," says Hughes. "We see this new product as a way for Illinois soybean farmers to be more competitive globally and for consumers to have access to a healthier diet."
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) is the statewide organization for Illinois soybean growers. The farmers on its board administer soybean checkoff funds to support research, promotions, and educational programs designed to increase demand for Illinois soybeans and administer legislation and membership programs. For more information, visit: www.ilsoy.org