2-Plants: EPA clears Bollgard II Bt-cotton for 2003 planting
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-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------
TITLE: EPA clears Bollgard II for 2003 planting
SOURCE: Western Farm Press, USA, by Elton Robinson
DATE: Dec 31, 2002
------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------
EPA clears Bollgard II for 2003 planting
Monsanto has received full U.S. regulatory clearance for Bollgard II, its
new insect-protected cotton technology. Approval means that U.S. cotton
producers will have access to Bollgard II cotton varieties in the 2003
Bollgard II cotton is expected to provide the grower with additional
benefits including a broader spectrum of insect-control, and increased
defense against the potential development of insect-resistance, said David
Rhylander, director of cotton marketing for Monsanto.
"The technology will also provide similar agronomic advantages as its
predecessor, Bollgard cotton, including an increased yield and lint
potential, improved insect control, reduction in input costs, savings in
time, and reduced pesticide spraying," he said.
Bollgard II cotton is the second-generation of insect-protected cotton
developed by Monsanto. This technology contains two different insect-
control genes, compared to the single insect-control gene in its
predecessor and will provide producers with 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week
control of target pests.
"Bollgard II cotton will provide cotton producers with excellent control of
a broad spectrum of pests that typically impact end-of-the season profits,"
noted Walt Mullins, cotton technical manager for Monsanto. "These pests
include cotton bollworm, tobacco budworm, pink bollworm, European corn
borer, cabbage and soybean loopers, fall and beet armyworms, saltmarsh
caterpillar and cotton leaf perforators."
"Bollgard II cotton is as much an improvement over the original Bollgard
cotton as Bollgard was over conventional cotton," said Blake Layton,
Mississippi State University Extension entomologist.
Monsanto's 2002 field research on Bollgard II cotton demonstrated the
durability of the technology under extreme insect pressure. In some areas,
cotton pests wreaked havoc on conventional cotton plots in unsprayed trials
Ð leaving the crop with 100 percent fruit damage Ð where unsprayed Bollgard
II sustained only 1 or 2 percent boll damage, Mullins noted.
"The technology's higher level of insect control Ð especially of such
economically significant cotton pests Ð highlights the substantial
improvement of this technology over Bollgard cotton and reinforces the
value of this technology for cotton producers," Mullins said.
As part of the registration conditions, EPA will require the same insect
resistance management programs that growers have been following the past
Insect resistance management plans for Bollgard and Bollgard II cotton are
designed to maintain the effectiveness of these products against the target
pest insects. These plans require planting a non-Bollgard cotton refuge
within a specific distance from each Bollgard II cotton field to serve as
habitat for susceptible insects.
USDA and FDA also confirmed the food, feed and environmental safety of this
technology earlier this year.
"Seed companies' supply of Bollgard II cotton seed will be limited in 2003;
however, we expect that seed production in 2003 by licensed seed companies
will ensure a significant increase in Bollgard II cotton seed availability
in 2004," noted Rhylander.
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