Aug. 29, 2014
The USDA’S Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) on Monsanto's genetically modified herbicide-tolerant MON 87708 soybean and MON 88701 cotton. Monsanto has sought a determination (petition) of nonregulated status of these two products.
MON 87708 soybean and MON 88701 cotton have been engineered to be resistant to the herbicide dicamba, and are being marketed under the name Xtend™ soybean and cotton. These GE plant varieties are currently regulated by APHIS, and Monsanto requests that APHIS grant the petition so that these varieties can be grown without any APHIS regulatory oversight.
Issues to be addressed in the EIS include the potential environmental impacts associated with the increased use of certain herbicides and possible selection for and spread of weeds resistant to the herbicide dicamba combined with resistance to other herbicides (multiple resistance).
Concurrent with APHIS review process, the EPA is reviewing proposed changes in the registered uses of dicamba on these soybean and cotton varieties. If approved by EPA, these label changes will allow for direct application of dicamba to Xtend soybean and cotton varieties.
The EIS will be subject to a 45-day comment period till September 25.