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2-Plants: EPA lifts restrictions in resistance management for Bt-maize

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EPA Grants Approval to Increase Monsanto's YieldGard Corn Acres in South
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/

Corn growers, who had been severely restricted in the amount of YieldGard 
(MON-810) insect- protected corn they could plant in cotton-producing 
regions of the South, are now able to plant up to 50 percent of their 
acres with these improved hybrids that protect the corn plant against 
European corn borer, Southwestern corn borer, and other insects. Monsanto 
Co. received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to 
increase the amount of YieldGard insect-protected corn that can be grown 
in cotton producing regions of the South.

"We are pleased that the EPA was responsive to our petition and the data 
we submitted," said Eric Sachs, YieldGard business director for Monsanto. 
"Growers in the South have told us they have been extremely frustrated 
that they have not been given full access to this environmentally 
responsible technology that will allow them to increase their corn 
yields. We will continue working to get them more access in 1999."

Sachs said he is optimistic that the EPA will continue to review data 
submitted by Monsanto and further lift restrictions in the northern 
corn-cotton growing regions so that growers can benefit more fully from 
YieldGard's protection. The EPA had significant input from grower 
organizations, as well as congressional delegates during their 
consideration of lifting the limitations on this valuable technology. 
Also, Monsanto will continue to participate fully in the Insect 
Resistance Management coalition which consists of Bt corn registrants. 
This effort is being promoted by the National Corn Growers Association in 
an effort to introduce an industry wide refuge plan for the year 2000.

YieldGard and other insect-protected corn brands had been restricted in 
the South because of concern that a species of insect could develop 
resistance to the protective gene in the corn. The corn contains a gene 
from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which protects corn from specific 
pests, including corn earworm and Fall armyworm. The corn earworm is the 
same species as the cotton bollworm, a major pest of cotton. In a typical 
year of corn borer pressure, YieldGard hybrids produce about 7 percent 
more corn per acre than ordinary corn.

As a life sciences company, Monsanto is committed to finding solutions to 
the growing global needs for food and health by sharing common forms of 
science and technology among agriculture, nutrition and health. The 
company's 30,000 employees worldwide make and market high-value 
agricultural products, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients.

YieldGarde(R) is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company.
SOURCE Monsanto Company (Copyright 1999)

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