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BASF Plant Science

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BASF Plant Science

BASF Plant Science is a subsidiary of BASF in which all plant biotechnology activities are consolidated. The GmbH was founded in 1998 and employs approximately 700 people at 6 different locations worldwide.[1] The headquarters of BASF Plant Science is located in Research Triangle Park (North Carolina, USA). Plant Science has research sites in the US, Canada and Europe. At these locations the company is mainly developing genetically modified seeds.[1]

Company profile

The company genetically modifies crops like maize, soy, cotton, canola, sugarcane, sugar beet and potatoes "for a more efficient agriculture".[1] Together with subsidiaries and partners, as well as in cooperation with universities and research institutions, BASF Plant Science is also developing new procedures and practices in genetic technology.

Crops genetically modified by BASF are sold and distributed through biotechnology companies like Monsanto,[2] KWS Saat,[3] Embrapa,[4] or CTC (Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira).[5]

Products

Loading of Amflora potatoes, trial planting in Sweden 2008

As of 2011, BASF Plant Science has already developed three products:

  • Amflora is a potato developed as a renewable resource for the European market. It is a waxy starch potato producing pure amylopectin starch, and tailor made of industrial use. Waxy potato starch is used in industrial procedures to make yarn stronger and paper glossier; it also makes spray concrete adhere better to walls.[6]

Due to lack of acceptance of GM crops in Europe BASF Plant Science decided in 2012 the stop of its commercialization and research activities on the European potato varieties Amflora and Fortuna. Further it announced the relocation of the corporate headquarters from Germany to the USA.[7]

A range of more crops are in the pipeline:

  • Maize, soy, canola, and cotton: The aim is a higher biomass and plants that better resist environmental factors such as drought or disease. These crops are developed on the island of Kauai in Hawaii and is distributed in cooperation with Monsanto.[9]
  • Sugarcane, sugar beet: The aim is to develop plants that produce more sugar that can be used in food or as raw material for biofuel production.[10]
  • Potatoes: With the name Fortuna a potato is developed which is resistant against Phytophthora infestans, a disease which is difficult to handle for European agriculturists.[11]

Other products are being developed for the food industry for use in genetically modified foods. Examples include plants with a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids for preventing cardiovascular diseases,[12] and plants with a higher content of astaxanthin which is used in fish farming as feed additive,[13] and as a food supplement for humans.

References

  1. ^ a b c BASF – Plant biotechnology
  2. ^ The New York Times – World Business Briefing: Europe: BASF and Monsanto in Crop Research.
  3. ^ ISAAA – BASF and KWS SAAT AG collaborate on biotech sugarbeet
  4. ^ a b Press Release – BASF and Embrapa’s Cultivance soybeans receive approval for commercial cultivation in Brazil.
  5. ^ Reuters – Brazil CTC, BASF to develop drought-tolerant cane.
  6. ^ BASF – Amflora
  7. ^ BASF stampft Genkartoffel Amflora ein
  8. ^ NutriDense
  9. ^ Food Navigator – Monsanto and BASF sign R&D agreement, 2007
  10. ^ BASF – CTC and BASF enter technical cooperation agreement in sugarcane
  11. ^ www.u-bourgogne.fr – BASF Plant Biotechnology
  12. ^ BASF – Biotechnology at BASF
  13. ^ Wipo

External links

  • BASF plant biotechnology
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