Monday, October 26, 2009

Comment Period extended for High-oleic acid soybean

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has sent out notice that it is extending the comment period for Pioneer Hi-Bred International's high-oleic acid soybean petition for nonregulated status. The original petition that was posted to go with the initial period was found to be the incorrect petition, so the comment period has been extended to December 28, 2009. The comment period is also extended for the Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Plant Pest Risk Assessment. The Federal Register notice from October 26, 2009 is posted here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mexico Issues First GM Corn Permits

According to a Reuters article from last week, The Mexican Agriculture Ministry will issue two permits to grow experimental plots of GM corn in regions where there are no native corn varieties. This will put the "birthplace" of corn in the hotbed of controversy over GM foods, but many feel it will help with productivity. The article further states that some Northern Mexico farmers were getting in the game early by illegally growing GM corn prior to any government approval of permits. Supposedly, thirty-five businesses have applied for the permits, including Monsanto.

This battle has gone back over the years, as it was always acceptable to consume GM corn in Mexico, but not plant or grow it. It was said that many farmers ignored this and planted the seeds anyway therefore causing an unintended spread of GM corn within Mexican fields. The report that is the centerpiece of this 2004 Washington Post article states that the proliferation of GM corn in Mexico was also contributed to cross-pollination (a.k.a. genetic drift). That about scares the hell out of most, so its understandable way many fears begin to align in these debates. We'll see how this further develops as this process gives us very interesting insight into the development of biotech plan and attitude that swirled by many of us in the US.