The soybean is a plant with a tradition: it was already cultivated in China by the year 3,000 BC. It is the oil crop of greatest economic relevance in the world. Its beans contain proportionally more essential amino acids than meat, thus making it one of the most important food crops today.
Soybean has been modified to contain traits such as Herbicide-tolerance and High oleic acid content.
Herbicide-tolerant soybean varieties contain a gene that provides resistance to one of two broad spectrum, environmentally benign herbicides.
This modified soybean provides better weed control and reduces crop injury. It also improves farm efficiency by optimizing yield, using arable land more efficiently, saving time for the farmer, and increasing the flexibility of crop rotation. It also encourages the adoption of no-till farming-an important part of soil conservation practice.
These varieties are the same as other soybeans in nutrition, composition, and the way they are processed into food and feed.
Herbicide-tolerant soybean was the most dominant GM crop grown commercially in 2000. Globally it occupied 25.8 million hectares, representing 59% of the global GM crop area of 44.2 million hectares for all crops.
*Approved for food use in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Uruguay and US.
Read more on Herbicide Tolerance Technology, see Pocket K No. 10: Herbicide Tolerance Technology: Glyphosate and Glufosinate (opens in a new window)
This modified soybean contains high levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat. According to health nutritionists, monounsaturated fats are considered “good” fats compared with saturated fats found in beef, pork, hard cheeses, and other dairy products. Oil processed from these varieties is similar to that of peanut and olive oils. Conventional soybeans have an oleic acid content of 24%. These new varieties have an oleic acid content that exceeds 80%.
* Approved for food use in Australia, Canada and US.