(Adds lawsuit on patent rights, troubles with dicamba in United States)
By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, March 8 (Reuters) - Monsanto Co said on Thursday it received approval from Brazil for its genetically modified soy seed Intacta2 Xtend, a key regulatory milestone in its second most important market.
The new seed variety is engineered to resist weed killers dicamba and glyphosate, and can also protect the crop against certain species of Spodoptera caterpillars, Monsanto said in a statement after the approval by regulator CTNBio.
The company plans to start selling the new technology in Brazil in 2020.
Monsanto has began showing the new technology to farmers in Brazil. This week, it will present it to producers in Rio Grande do Sul and in April to farmers in Goiás state, it said.
The regulatory development underscores the importance of Brazil for Monsanto, the world’s second largest soy producer and largest exporter of the oilseed.
Intacta2 Xtend is the successor of Monsanto’s Intacta RR2 Pro, which resists caterpillars and glyphosate, but not dicamba-based products.
Currently, Monsanto is fighting a lawsuit filed by soy growers in Brazil to cancel its patent rights to Intacta RR2 Pro in the country.
In the United States, the top market for Monsanto, the use of dicamba-based products provoked allegations that the weed killer drifted and damaged neighboring crops.
Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker