EPA will require seed companies to investigate, respond to Bt corn resistant rootworms

| | February 22, 2016
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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 [February 18], 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.

. . . .

Under the EPA’s plan . . . 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. . . .

Read full, original post: EPA to Require Seed Companies to Tighten Defense Against Pests in Biotech Corn

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