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Anti-biotech groups attempting to block approval of Dow AgroSciences’ new corn traitqrcode

Jan. 13, 2012

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Jan. 13, 2012

A familiar cast of anti-biotech activists is gearing up efforts to thwart approval of a new corn trait that Dow AgroSciences has engineered to withstand the 2,4-D herbicide.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service signaled last month that it leans toward deregulating the variety, but needs to consider public comments into account for a final decision.

The campaign appears to be following patterns the objectors have followed in earlier, unsuccessful attempts to stop commercial introduction of biotech alfalfa, sugar beets and other crops. They will first generate a flood of objections during APHIS's public comment period and then file suit in a federal district court, such as San Francisco, where they think a judge may look at their case more favorably.

The Center for Food Safety already is trying to raise money to support a lawsuit. Blocking approval of "crops that will be resistant to the toxic, powerful pesticides 2,4-D - the main ingredient in Agent Orange - and Dicamba" and transgenic salmon are the center's top priorities for 2012, Executive Director Andrew Kimbrell said in an appeal to supporters.

The threat of a suit was not unanticipated, says Dow spokeswoman Kenda Resler-Friend. "Given that CFS has filed a legal action of some sort against virtually every crop biotechnology product submitted to U.S. regulatory authorities in recent years, it's hard to imagine their failing to do so in this instance," she told Agri-Pulse.

Source: Agri-Pulse


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