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New GMO Products Delayed Due To USDA Review

Monsanto and Dow Chemical have been developing new genetically-modified seeds, but the USDA has hit the brakes on their release to market.

The yellow wheels of a center-pivot irrigation system on tilled farmland

Photo: Janet Tarbox (flickr)

The selection pressure of Roundup applications has helped more resilient weeds evolve.

In an effort to combat herbicide-resistant weeds, Dow and Monsanto have proposed new corn and soybean products.

The USDA is saying, “Not so fast.”

Agent Orange Ready?

Weeds resistant to the herbicide Roundup were recently found in 22 states. In response, Dow developed “Enlist” corn with hopes of releasing it to the market later this year or early in 2014.

The company is not alone; Monsanto has also developed resistant cotton and soybeans.

The proposed products are made to withstand exposure to 2,4-D — on of the main ingredients in Agent Orange — and dicamba. Both are stronger herbicides than Roundup.

Cause For Concern

These new seeds would encourage the increased use herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba, which could have a significant impact on the environment.

The USDA has said it would conduct two separate environmental impact statements for Dow and Monsanto. The delay could push the date the products hit the market back to 2015 or later.

Read More:

  • Environmental Review to Delay Two Engineered Crops (New York Times)
  • USDA says more review needed for new Monsanto, Dow GMO crops (Reuters)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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