How we make new products

A complex and lengthy journey from idea to farm

The processes for bringing new products for agricultural use to market are complex and time-consuming – reflecting the importance of safety at all stages.

For a new chemical active ingredient in crop protection, development and registration take on average 8-10 years and cost around US$260 million. For a biotechnology product, such as a new genetically modified (GM) trait, the average time taken is 13 years and the cost US$136 million.

Crop protection

Bringing  a new crop protection product to market

Crop protection is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world. Development of a new product involves many steps: discovery and formulation of the product; trials and field development; toxicology – the study of the effects of the compound; environmental impacts; and final registration.

To register a new product, we must show that it is safe for workers, for the environment, for the crops that are being protected, and for the food that is eventually eaten. Sophisticated risk assessments are undertaken and approximately 30% of the cost of a new active ingredient is spent on product safety. 

Working on crop protection

Developing a seed with biotechnology

Biotechnology is the use of living organisms to develop useful products, and includes genetic modification. 

Agricultural biotech products are the most stringently tested food products available to consumers. Few organizations commercialize plant biotechnology as we do, because of the high costs of R&D and the necessary level of regulatory testing.

The process begins with the discovery of a new genetic sequence, which eventually results in high quality hybrid seeds to be tested and evaluated. Rigorous laboratory and field studies are carried out.

The entire process takes around 13 years, including 9 years of regulatory work both in the cultivating country and the major import markets.

13 years to develop a new GM trait

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