The 22nd Century Group, Inc., a plant biotechnology company, says it is producing very low nicotine tobacco and claims it is the leader in lowering harm from tobacco through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The group sees big money potential if its Central American growing program proves successful.
The specially-propagated Central American tobacco crop is expected to produce sufficient quantities of very low nicotine tobacco seed stock to support 22nd Century’s increasing distribution of “VLN” tobacco cigarettes in Europe, as well as the anticipated future distribution of VLN tobacco cigarettes in the United States, as well as the potential sales of VLN tobacco leaf in Asia.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a phytosanitary certificate to 22nd Century to facilitate export of the company’s proprietary Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) seeds to select growers in Central America. As a result of the company’s successful field trials, the proprietary VLN tobacco seed being produced will allow to company to greatly expand its tobacco leaf growing programs in both the United States and in Central America. The tobacco plants in Central America are expected to produce seed sufficient to grow tens of thousands of acres of VLN tobacco. “The positive results of our Central American tobacco seed production program could not have come at a better time,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, president and chief executive officer of 22nd Century Group. “Now 22nd Century will have sufficient stockpiles of VLN seeds to support increased distribution of the company’s MAGIC “O” cigarettes as well as launches of our other proprietary very low nicotine products around the world.”