Monsanto and Forage Genetics International recently announced that Japan has fully ap-proved the importation of Roundup Ready alfalfa.

The two companies say they now have import approval from the major export markets that require it. Mexico approved the importation of Roundup Ready alfalfa last February; Cana-dian approval came in July.

Other major export markets include Taiwan and Korea. Taiwan’s approval process for bio-tech alfalfa is voluntary, and export to that country is legal. Korea doesn’t regulate feed, but is in the process of developing an approval process. Monsanto and Forage Genetics recom-mend that exporters not ship Roundup Ready alfalfa hay to Korea until regulatory approvals are granted. They’re expected in late 2006 or early 2007.

Following the Japanese approval, the companies plan to proceed with a full U.S. product launch of Roundup Ready alfalfa. A limited launch began last fall, but no Roundup Ready seed was sold in states where significant amounts of hay are grown for export.