MON 87769

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MON 87769 is a type of Genetically Engineered SDA Omega 3 Soybeans made by Monsanto. They are soybeans that were genetically engineered by inserting genes from a primrose and a fungus. With the inserted genes, the soybeans produce stearidonic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is not present in non-genetically engineered soybeans. The inserted genes come from Primula juliae (a primrose) and Neurospora crassa (a red bread mold).

Genetic Engineering of MON 87769

"The production of SDA in MON 87769 is accomplished through the introduction of two desaturase genes, Primula juliae Δ6 desaturase (Pj.D6D) and Neurospora crassa Δ15 desaturase (Nc.Fad3) into conventional soybean, A3525. The two introduced genes encode for the PjΔ6D and NcΔ15D proteins, respectively."[1]

A high percentage of the fat within a conventional soybean is linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid with 18 carbons and 2 double bonds (18:2n-6). The Nc∆15D in MON 87769 converts LA to alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid with 18 carbons and 3 double bonds (18:3n-3). The protein Pj∆6D converts ALA to stearidonic acid (SDA), which has 18 carbons and 4 double bonds (18:4n-3), and it converts LA to gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid with 18 carbons and three double bonds (18:3n-6). Conventional soybeans do not contain either SDA or GLA.[2]

Fatty Acid Profile

Here is how the fatty acids of MON 87769 compare to a conventional soybean:[3]

MON 87769:

Conventional soybeans


Monsanto submitted its petition to deregulate MON 87769 in 2010.[4] On December 27, 2011, the USDA posted a notice of Monsanto's petition to deregulate MON 87769 in the Federal Register. The notice included links to Monsanto's petition as well as the USDA's draft environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment. The USDA then allowed public comments for a 60 day period.[5] On May 15, 2012, the USDA deregulated MON 87769.[6] The deregulation was made effective as of its announcement in the Federal Register on July 13, 2012.[7]

Anticipated Uses and Cultivation

At the time of MON 87769's approval it was anticipated for use in "baked goods and baking mixes, breakfast cereals and grains, cheeses, dairy product analogs, fats and oils, fish products, frozen dairy desserts and mixes, grain products and pastas, gravies and sauces, meat products, milk products, nuts and nut products, poultry products, processed fruit juices, processed vegetable products, puddings and fillings, snack foods, soft candy, and soups and soup." Each serving of the soybean oil would provid 375mg of stearidonic acid (SDA). It also might be used in aquaculture and poultry feed.[8]

Because the product is intended for a specific market, it will be grown and processed separately from most soybeans grown in the U.S. Monsanto estimates that it will be grown on up to 3 to 3.5 million acres, or less than 5% of the total acreage in the U.S. that is devoted to soybeans.[9] It will be grown in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.[10]

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