20 April 1999 00:01 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--Four major distributors of genetically engineered corn submitted proposals Monday to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for preventing insect resistance to field corn containing genes derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
The proposals are intended to help EPA develop regulations that reduce the chances that pests will become resistant to Bt, a natural toxin that is widely used by organic farmers, according to the American Crop Protection Association (ACPA).
The industry insect resistance management (IRM) plan for Bt corn was submitted by Monsanto, Mycogen Seeds/Dow AgroSciences, Novartis and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, in conjunction with the National Corn Growers Association.
The plan could be implemented in time for the 2000 growing season, according to ACPA.
The plan calls for the imposition of refuge requirements for all corn growing regions of the US. Growers will be required to plant a minimum of 20% non-Bt corn in the corn belt states and the northern portion of the corn/cotton region. A minimum of a 50% refuge of non-Bt corn will be required in the southern portion of the corn/cotton growing region.
The plan encourages growers to plant non-Bt corn within one-quarter mile of Bt corn; they are required to plant the refuges within one-half mile.
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