26 April 1999 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Four companies selling new Bt corn technology have submitted for regulatory approval a plan recommending a common approach to prevent insect resistance to field corn containing genes derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Environmental Protection Agency has registered Bt genes for use on corn.
The industry insect resistance management (IRM) plan for Bt corn was submitted by Monsanto, Mycogen Seeds/ Dow AgroSciences, Novartis Seeds and Pioneer Hi-Bred International in conjunction with the National Corn Growers Association. If EPA approves the plan expeditiously, registrants say it could be implemented for the 2000 growing season.
"The goal...is to sustain and protect Bt technology while allowing growers and society...to realize fully the economic and environmental benefits of this technology," the companies say. They note that the plan is based on an approach recommended by an EPA science advisory panel last year that seeks to protect Bt technology "with the need to establish a practical approach that growers will implement."
Under the plan, refuge requirements will be imposed for all corn growing regions of the US. Growers will have to plan a minimum of 20 percent non-Bt corn in the corn-belt states and the northern portion of the corn and cotton region.
A minimum 50 percent refuge of non-Bt corn will be required in the southern portion of the corn and cotton growing region. Also, the plan encourages growers to plant non-Bt corn within one-quarter of a mile of Bt corn, and it requires refuges within half a mile.
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