Plenish Genetically Engineered Soybeans

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Plenish Genetically Engineered Soybeans are a variety of Genetically Engineered High Oleic Acid Soybeans created by Pioneer Hi-Bred (DuPont) and deregulated in Canada in 2009 and in the U.S. in 2010.[1][2] They have been genetically engineered to have higher levels of oleic acid (omega 9 fatty acid), and lower levels of linoleic (omega 6 fatty acid) and linolenic acids in the soybean oil."This makes them "more stable at high frying temperatures" and extends their shelflife.[3] Plenish soybeans are identified in scientific and government documents as "Soybean Event 305423."

Plenish soybeans are marketed as "a soybean with a healthier oil profile" because they have "zero trans fat."[4] However, all soybeans are naturally free of trans fat. Soybean oil only has trans-fat if it is partially hydrogenated.

Altered Oil Profile

A typical soybean's fat content breaks down as follows:[5]

The Plenish soybean's oil profile is altered to be as follows:[6]

Deregulation in the U.S. and Canada

Canada deregulated Plenish soybeans on May 6, 2009. The U.S. deregulated it on June 8, 2010. Prior to deregulation, the USDA performed an environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act and concluded a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI).

At the time of deregulation, Health Canada characterized the GE soybean as follows:

"Soybean event 305423 was genetically modified using biolistic co-transformation of soybean embryo tissue with two linear DNA fragments: PHP 19340A containing the gm-fad2-1 cassette and PHP17752A containing the gm-hra gene cassette. The gm-fad2-1 cassette is composed of the promoter sequence of the soybean Kunitz trypsin inhibitor gene 3 (P-KTi3), a partial fragment of the soybean microsomal omega-6 desaturase gene (gm-fad2-1), and the terminator sequence of the soybean Kunitz trypsin inhibitor gene 3 (T-KTi3). The gm-hra gene expression cassette is composed of the promoter sequence of soybean S-adenosyl-L-methionine synthetase (P-SAMS), the 5' untranslated region of the soybean SAMS gene (5'UTR-SAMS) flanking an intron (I-SAMS), a modified version of the acetolactate synthase gene from soybean (gm-hra), and the terminator region of the acetolactate synthase gene from soybean (T-als).
"Insertion of the partial gm-fad2-1 gene from soybean acts to silence the endogenous gm-fad2-1 gene encoding the GM-FAD2-1 protein. Introduction of the gm-hra gene encodes for the GM-HRA protein, a modified version of a soybean acetolate synthase conferring tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicides. Successfully transformed soybean embryo tissues were selected on media containing sulfonylurea herbicides and a high oleic acid phenotype was detected using a gas chromatography assay."[7]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Federal Register, Vol. 75, No. 109, June 8, 2010.
  2. High Oleic Soybean Event 305423, Accessed August 15, 2012.
  3. Food firms test fry Pioneer’s trans fat–free soybean oil, Accessed August 15, 2012.
  4. Plenish, Accessed August 15, 2012.
  5. J. Grover Shannon, Breeding High Oleic Non-GMO Soybeans, Accessed August 15, 2012.
  6. Plenish High Oleic Soy Oil, Accessed August 15, 2012.
  7. High Oleic Soybean Event 305423, Accessed August 15, 2012.

External resources

External articles