Tuesday, February 18, 2020

EPA extends comment period for corn rootworm resistance framework

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the comment period on a proposed framework to delay corn root worms from  developing resistance to Bt pesticides.

Stakeholders will now have until April 15 to comment on the plan.  

The framework was unveiled on Jan. 28 and the commenting period originally was to end on Monday. A 30-day extension was granted after manufacturers requested additional time.   

The Bt pesticide is produced by the corn itself. It has been genetically modified to produce proteins that are effective against rootworm and is a plant-incorporated protectant.

After recent reports indicated that two Bt traits were losing effectiveness against rootworm, the EPA consulted with a panel of experts in order to determine how to improve on current resistance prevention methods.

The framework involves changing how producers grow their corn crops and would stipulate rotation of corn varieties that contain more kinds of the Bt proteins. The framework also proposes methods of determining areas that are at risk and improving testing methods. 

The EPA states that 70 percent of corn crops should take part in integrated pest management in high-risk areas and 50 percent in other areas should do the same. 

Stakeholders can view the EPA’s proposed framework under docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0805 at www.regulations.gov.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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