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Monsanto planning technology transfer to Cotton Incorporated

The announcement of the transfer of six promoters for fiber genes reinforces Monsanto’s Pledge commitment to growers and consumers and is expected to boost Cotton Incorporated’s goal of enhancing the fiber quality of cotton, said Carl Casale, vice president and general manager for Monsanto’s North American agricultural business.

“Monsanto admires Cotton Incorporated’s commitment to enhance cotton on behalf of American producers and is pleased to assist them in this effort,” said Casale. “Cotton already is a highly desirable fiber and we applaud their determination to further improve the “Fabric Of Our Lives.

“We have been pleased and gratified that cotton growers have rapidly adopted cotton varieties containing our biotechnology traits for improved insect protection and weed control,” he said. “Transferring these promoters to the U.S. cotton industry will help Cotton Incorporated, through their research programs, work on future generations of cotton for enhancements beyond agronomic traits.”

“Through the use of these promoters and other technologies, future research will hold the potential to create unique US cottons that can be differentiated in world export markets, while bringing added value to US cotton producers,” said Roy G. Cantrell, vice president, Agricultural Research, Cotton Incorporated.

The announcement underscores the company’s commitment to growers, consumers and the ag industry, outlined in the Monsanto Pledge, said Casale. The Pledge is a series of commitments that describe the company’s policies for the products developed through biotechnology – including sharing knowledge and technology to improve agriculture and the environment.

“Cotton Incorporated is proud to be a recipient of this technology transfer from Monsanto. We both clearly recognize the undeveloped potential within the area of genetic engineering and through the implementation of these promoters into research, cotton’s qualities and overall profitability for farmers will be improved,” said J. Berrye Worsham, president and CEO of the Cary, N.C.-based Cotton Incorporated.

This is the fourth major commitment that Monsanto has made to a commodity organization in the past two years and serves as another example of the company’s commitment to bolster innovation in the industry. The announcement builds upon prior support for soybean and corn producers.

In 2001 and 2002, Monsanto made three separate transfers of important genetic information to the checkoff funded Better Bean Initiative developed by the United Soybean Board. These announcements are expected to accelerate the development of soybeans with improved oils and more protein for consumers world-wide while improving the economic value for U.S. soybean farmers.

In November 2001, Monsanto’s bioenergy team placed the first U.S. corporate order for the industry’s first full-size pickup trucks that run on E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Today, Monsanto field personnel are driving 100 General Motors E85 Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups. These vehicles will eventually account for the majority of Monsanto’s fleet, and help build the market for E85 fuel derived from the U.S. corn crop.

Monsanto announced earlier this year that, as part of its bioenergy initiative, it is establishing a research team to identify high-yielding commercial corn hybrids for the ethanol industry. These hybrids are expected to improve ethanol yields per bushel and plant process efficiencies.

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