Group supports deregulation of soybean component

by Jeff Gelski
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ANKENY, IOWA — The Iowa Soybean Association supports the full deregulation of MON 87705, a key component of Vistive Gold soybeans that produce a high-oleic, low-saturate, low-trans fat soybean oil, according to an Aug. 19 letter signed by I.S.A. president Randy VanKooten and sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Monsanto, St. Louis, petitioned the U.S.D.A. for non-regulated status of the high-oleic soybeans in June 2009. The petition is under review.

The I.S.A. letter pointed out soybean oil consumption as a percentage of total U.S. fats and oils has fallen to 68% in 2010 from 83% in 2001.

“Indeed, soybean oil has lost more than 4 billion lbs of usage after the Food and Drug Administration required that trans fat be identified on food labels,” the letter said. “While soybean oil itself does not contain trans fats, the process of partially hydrogenating vegetable oils to make them more stable for frying operations or to provide texture for baking applications creates trans fats.”

The oil from Vistive Gold is high in oleic acid, which provides stability in frying applications. It is low in linolenic acid content, which means food companies may use it to produce foods with 0 grams of trans fat or that are low in trans fat, according to the letter. Additionally, Vistive Gold soybeans produce an oil that has 60% less saturated fat than conventional soybean oil.

“With improved and affordable high-oleic soybean oil available for food applications, I.SA. is hopeful U.S. farmers will be able to regain share in the U.S. oils market,” the letter said. “Vistive Gold soybeans will give U.S. food companies the opportunity to support U.S. farmers and processors by purchasing oil from locally grown and processed soybeans, and consumers will also have the opportunity to support U.S. farmers and the U.S. soy industry by purchasing food products made using this locally grown and processed product.”

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