Regulatory approval clears way for launch of genetically modified corn
ACC SmartBrief | 07/21/2009
Dow Chemical and Monsanto report that they have received regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Canada to produce SmartStax, a genetically modified corn seed said to offer substantial improvements in insect and weed control. The launch will be the largest ever for a corn biotech seed, and the companies expect to offer the product to farmers on more than 3 million acres during its first year. Reuters (07/20)
By Drovers news source
Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto Company announced that they have received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for SmartStax in corn, an all-in-one corn trait platform. Company officials believe the new corn could increase whole farm yields by five to ten percent.
SmartStax combines each company's industry-leading corn traits to provide farmers the absolute broadest spectrum of above- and below-ground protection available against insects and weeds.
The new SmartStax corn seeds combine eight different genes for herbicide tolerance and insect protection, a combination that has come about as a result of a collaborative research agreement between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences that was signed in 2007.
They claim that the approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) puts the release of the corn seeds on track for planting next year. Monsanto said that it expects the corn to be planted on three to four million acres of land in 2010, which would make it the largest ever adoption of a GM corn seed variety.
In a conference call with investors on Monday, Robb Fraley, Monsanto chief technology officer and executive vice president, said that SmartStax could account for 50 to 65 million acres of American corn within the next five to six years.
According to USDA figures, the total area planted with corn in the US has averaged around 85m acres over the past five years. Of that 85 percent is genetically modified, compared with 47 percent five years ago.