(NaturalNews) The USDA is currently reviewing the second generation of agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" soybean for deregulation. If the USDA decides to deregulate, the crop could be planted and moved without permits or supervision, and it would probably be commercially introduced in 2009.
• Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" product line consists of plants genetically engineered to be resistant to the company's Roundup brand of herbicide, so that producers can spray the weed killer without damaging their crops.
• Monsanto estimates that 87 percent of soybean fields in the United States and 60 percent outside the United States planted first-generation Roundup Ready plants in 2005.
• The company says that the new soybean, MON 89788, may increase crop yields by 4 to 7 percent more than the first-generation variety.
• The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has recommended approval of MON 89788, calling it as safe as non-genetically modified varieties.
• The USDA will be accepting public comments on the proposed deregulation until April 6.