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2-Plants: US EPA renames "plant-pesticides" to please industry

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TITLE:  A pesticide by any other name?
        It could be a 'plant-expressed protectant'
SOURCE: Food & Regulation Weekly, U.S.
DATE:   May 31, 1999

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EPA's open invitation to rename genetically engineered products,
called "plant-pesticides" since 1994, attracted a broad variety
of alternative suggestions. But industry groups seem settled on
"plant-expressed protectant" as their preference.

The National Cotton Council noted that 46% of U.S. cotton acreage
was planted last year with genetically modified varieties. That
percentage is expected to rise in the future, Keith Menchey, NCC
manager of science and environmental issues, told the
Environmental Protection Agency. "To the general public, the term 
'pesticide' can evoke a negative reaction," said Menchey. "The
public's confidence in the safety of these new products could be
eroded. Furthermore, such negative perceptions might conceivably
lead to labeling requirements."  EPA offered to consider
alternative names in response to industry complaints that plant
pesticide is not an accurate designation for an engineered
pesticidal substance or the genetic material necessary to produce
it in a living plant (See Food Regulation Weekly, April 26, Page

"The term `plant-expressed protectant' more accurately describes
the actual situation," Richard Stuckey, executive vice president
of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, told EPA.
Other alternatives might be acceptable to CAST, but its members
"would strongly object to any term that includes the word
'pesticides' in the title," Stuckey said.  Monsanto also endorsed
the term "plant-expressed protectant," casting its vote "as a
leader in biotechnology and one of the major registrants of
biotechnology-developed products."

-| Hartmut Meyer
-| Co-ordinator
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
-| Reinhaeuser Landstr. 51
-| D - 37083 Goettingen
-| Germany
-| phone: #49-551-7700027
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