U.S. Department of Defense to pay Arcadia Biosciences $2.9 million for development of longer-lasting tomatoes and lettuce
— Technology to Provide Warfighters In The Field With Fresh Produce; Consumers With Longer-Lasting Vegetables —
DAVIS, CA (September 14, 2005) – Arcadia Biosciences, an agricultural biotechnology company focused on products that benefit the environment and human health, today announced that it has secured a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center, for $2.9 million to develop longer-lasting fresh produce. Under the agreement, fresh tomatoes and lettuce are the first products of focus.
The purpose of the DoD contract is to develop fresh produce for field troops in areas where frequent supply deliveries are difficult to make. Successful development of these products will contribute to the nutrition, health, and morale of warfighters on the front lines by providing them with better fresh food choices. Arcadia also will commercialize the technology to the general public so consumers can benefit from longer fresh food life and reduced spoilage.
“Diets of troops in some areas are often constrained by the ability to deliver fresh food on a regular basis. Development of longer-lasting produce can help expand the dietary options and improve the morale of soldiers by providing them with good-tasting, nutritious fresh food,” said Patrick Dunne, senior science advisor to the US Army Natick Soldier Center DoD Combat Feeding Program.
“In addition to serving our troops, products developed through this contract will also help meet the needs of consumers who want fruits and vegetables that won’t spoil as quickly as currently available produce,” added Eric Rey, president of Arcadia.
Arcadia will use its proprietary TILLING® advanced breeding technology to develop longer lasting tomatoes and lettuce for the DoD. The TILLING process efficiently identifies plants that carry valuable and useful traits, and the genetic information that confer such traits. At the genomic level, TILLING enables Arcadia researchers to discover variation by specifically identifying a “knockdown” or “knockout” of any specific gene’s function. Arcadia, through its recent acquisition of Anawah, Inc., has already made significant progress in the development of longer-lasting produce, produce with higher nutrient levels, and tomatoes with a higher content of solids using TILLING. Products developed using TILLING are classified as non-GMO.
Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) was instrumental in securing the agreement between Arcadia and the DoD.
“Napoleon said that an army fights on its stomach. Thanks to this innovative project, American troops will have healthier, fresher produce even when they’re stationed in remote areas,” Murray said. “This investment means jobs at home and support for our troops abroad.”
Much of the research in support of the DoD contract will take place in Arcadia’s Seattle research facility, where the company will add technical staff in support of its TILLING product development efforts.
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on the development of agricultural products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto, see: www.monsanto.com.