The European Food Safety Authority has issued a positive safety opinion on LibertyLink soybeans, moving the weed control technology from Bayer CropScience a step closer to commercialization.

The company anticipates receiving full import approval for LibertyLink soybeans, which are resistant to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, in the EU, China and other key importing countries prior to planned commercial introduction.

LibertyLink soybeans are fully approved for food, feed and cultivation in the United States and Canada; for importation into Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Taiwan and South Africa; and for food use in Russia.

Bayer CropScience is currently collaborating with soybean breeding companies to develop well-adapted and high-yielding LibertyLink soybean varieties. “Growers can expect LibertyLink varieties to be highly competitive in both yield and agronomic performance,” said Andy Hurst, Bayer CropScience product manager. “In addition, Liberty herbicide offers soybean growers the added benefit of being highly effective on glyphosate-resistant weeds as well as glyphosate-tolerant volunteers.”

“U.S. soybean farmers welcome the development of new biotech-enhanced soybean varieties and appreciate this positive action taken by the EFSA,” said American Soybean Association president John Hoffman, a producer from Waterloo, Iowa. “The availability of a seed variety that tolerates a different herbicide will promote market competition and provide an additional in-crop weed control option that can be an effective management tool to minimize the selection for herbicide-resistant weeds and enhance the sustainability of U.S. soybean production.”