Good News for Dow Enlist Corn, Soybeans - Analyst Blog


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Dow Chemical 's ( DOW ) wholly-owned unit - Dow AgroSciences LLC - reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has concluded the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for its Enlist corn and soybean and Enlist E3 soybean traits and will see the review process to move ahead.

The USDA, in the DEIS, recommended full deregulation (as the "Preferred Alternative") for all three genetically-engineered (GE), 2,4-D herbicide-resistant Enlist corn and soybean traits. The DEIS is now open for a 45-day public comment period. 

The Enlist system combines innovative traits and herbicides to meet challenging weed control issues faced by farmers. The Enlist E3 trait stack confers tolerance to 2,4-D herbicide, glyphosate, and glufosinate. Enlist E3 soybeans have demonstrated how new technologies can be implemented to speed up innovation, counter significant weed challenges and improve yields, which would eventually help farmers remain competitive.  

However, the Enlist weed control system has been criticized by various groups including the Center for Food Safety for potentially causing adverse effects on health and environment. Critics have warned that planting of Enlist corn will lead to a significant rise in use of 2,4-D herbicide, thereby triggering health threats. 

However, the USDA said that, based on preliminary findings, GE corns and soybean plants do not pose a plant pest risk to crops or other plants in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently assessing the safety of the proposed new uses of 2,4-D herbicide and will make its decision available for public review and comment in the coming months. 

Dow AgroSciences noted that new data from Nov 2013 showed 86% corn, soybean and cotton growers in the South have herbicide-resistant or hard-to-control weeds. Moreover, number of farmers impacted by tough weeds in the Midwest now tops 61%. As such, farmers require new tools to address significant weed control problems. Data that contains the latest state of the science on the trait and chemistry show that Enlist would help address this challenge.

Dow AgroSciences expects the USDA to finalize its review and deregulation of Enlist corn and soybeans so that farmers in the U.S. can access them in 2015. The company will continue to work with the USDA and back Enlist as it advances toward regulatory clearances. Enlist corn and soybean traits are already approved in Canada.

Dow AgroSciences and its development partner MS Technologies recently declared that Enlist E3 soybeans have successfully completed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) consultation. This represents the third Enlist trait to complete the FDA Review for food and feed safety.

The data submitted to the regulatory authority was enough to conclude that Enlist E3 soybeans are at par in context of composition, safety, and other relevant parameters with soybean-derived food and feed currently available in the market.

Dow AgroSciences also recently received the U.S. patent for its 2,4-D herbicide tolerance event in  Enlist corn. The patent, which provides proprietary protection for corn plants comprising the event and methods of using Enlist corn for controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds, consolidates Dow's leadership in trait technology. 

Dow Chemical currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering are Johnson Matthey plc ( JMPLY ), PPG Industries Inc. ( PPG ) and Olin Corp. ( OLN ). While Johnson Matthey carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both PPG Industries and Olin retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

DOW CHEMICAL (DOW): Free Stock Analysis Report


OLIN CORP (OLN): Free Stock Analysis Report

PPG INDS INC (PPG): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
More Headlines for: DOW , GE , JMPLY , OLN , PPG

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