EPA proposes new corn rootworm management plan

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2015- The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new measures to delay the corn rootworm pest becoming resistant to corn genetically engineered to produce certain pesticides.

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The EPA Federal Register Notice published January 28, 2015, "EPA Proposal To Improve Corn Rootworm Resistance Management; Notice of Availability," proposes some requirements for the manufacturers of Bt corn, which is engineered to include a gene from Bacillus thuringeiensis, a bacterium that lives in the soil and naturally produces a toxin that functions as a pesticide.

For instance, in areas at risk of corn rootworm resistance, it would require crop rotation, also the use of corn varieties containing more than one Bt toxin; developing a strategy to better detect and address areas of resistance as they emerge; and using improved scientific tests to more reliably ensure that resistance to the Bt corn toxin is identified.

EPA wants comments on its proposal by March 16.

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The proposal responds to reports of widespread corn rootworm resistance to two Bt corn traits and reflects advice received by the Agency from the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP), the agency said.

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