EPA to Seed Companies- On GMO Rootworm Resistance, Enhance Defenses

Jacob Bunge reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would require seed companies to enhance defenses against bugs resistant to anti-pest genes in biotech corn, but it stopped short of adopting stricter proposals to escalate the fight against crop pests.

“The EPA’s plan, outlined on Thursday, requires Monsanto Co. and other companies producing genetically modified seeds to investigate corn fields suspected of harboring corn rootworms that have developed resistance to GMO corn—and to implement a response.

“But the agency’s plan doesn’t include requirements to switch some bug-afflicted fields to different crops, which was part of an earlier EPA proposal that drew complaints from farm groups and seed companies.”

Mr. Bunge pointed out that, “Under the EPA’s plan unveiled Thursday, seed companies would be required to investigate reports of suspected resistance, replacing a previous strategy that randomly sampled rootworm populations around the Corn Belt. If a company confirms there are resistant rootworms in a field, it will have to implement a response for a half-mile area around the site, the EPA said.

“Options for such response plans include switching fields over to other crops like soybeans, planting non-GMO corn and using soil-based insecticide, or planting GMO corn that produces multiple pest-killing proteins. ‘The framework allows for a variety of options to be utilized, provided they are the most effective to address the situation,’ an EPA spokesman said.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.