Grain corn containing Herculex RW Rootworm Protection and Herculex XTRA Insect Protection has received regulatory committee approvals for food, feed and import into Japan, according to the traits developers, Dow AgroSciences LLC and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

These actions open Japan to grain containing the traits. Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA received U.S. regulatory approvals in 2005 and are available for the 2006 growing season.

Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA are available in hybrids from Mycogen Seeds, the retail seed brand of Dow AgroSciences; and Pioneer. Beck’s Superior Hybrids also is offering Herculex RW for 2006 and will introduce Herculex XTRA in hybrids for the 2007 growing season.

Herculex RW provides protection all season against western, northern and Mexican larval corn rootworm, thereby reducing adult rootworm emergence.

Herculex XTRA combines the rootworm protection of Herculex RW with the broad insect protection of Herculex I Insect Protection for additional protection against corn borers, black cutworm, western bean cutworm and other destructive pests.

“These Japanese approvals mark another step in the growing number of markets accepting grain from U.S. growers with biotech traits,” says Kyle Whitaker, new technology launch marketing manager at Pioneer. “In this case, it broadens the marketplace for corn grain with products containing Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA that bring immense value to producers.”

Herculex RW also has received regulatory approvals for import into Mexico, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, plus full food, feed and cultivation approvals in Canada. And Herculex XTRA has received approvals for import into Australia and New Zealand, plus full food, feed and cultivation approvals in Canada.

However, because European Union import approval is not expected in time for the 2006 harvest, Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA will be Market Choices products. Grain containing either product must be fed on-farm, used domestically, or delivered to elevators or other markets where neither the grain nor its processed products (e.g. gluten) will be shipped to the EU.