Monsanto, Scotts seek USDA approval for feral glyphosate tolerant grass

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Monsanto Co. and Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. are asking the U.S. to approve a type of golf-course grass that they’ve genetically engineered to tolerate a popular weedkiller. . . .

The companies are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove restrictions on creeping bentgrass that contains a gene allowing it to tolerate glyphosate. . .

Removal of federal restrictions on gene-modified plantings is typically sought by developers so the plants and seeds can be sold. But in a highly unusual twist, Monsanto and Scotts say they “will not commercialize or license to other entities glyphosate-tolerant creeping bentgrass,” according to a 281-page petition the USDA released for public comment January 6. Jim King, a Scotts spokesman, confirmed the company no longer plans to make it commercially available.

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They want the grass deregulated so when it’s found growing wild, it won’t trigger environmental concerns and can be eradicated like any other weed, according to King. . . .

Related article:  Owen Paterson: 'Anti-GMO stance of Green Blob, Greenpeace condemn poor to starvation, death

Scotts filed a similar bentgrass petition in 2002 with the intention of selling it to professional golf courses. Soon after, the modified grass was found growing outside approved test plots in eastern Oregon, King said. Scotts, a Marysville, Ohio-based seller of lawn-care products, agreed in 2007 to pay a $500,000 fine to resolve allegations it violated USDA rules for field tests of its grass.

Glyphosate-tolerant creeping bentgrass continues to be found occasionally growing wild in Oregon, and when that happens the company provides herbicides to kill it, King said.

“The deregulation petition closes the loop for us,” King said.

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Read full, original post: Monsanto, Scotts Seek Approval for Golf Grass Gone Wild

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