The American Farm Bureau Federation says USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service should grant non-regulated status to a new variety of herbicide-tolerant corn. Farm Bureau says the approval of DAS-40278-9 would provide farmers an important alternative to manage hard-to-control weeds and respond to potential herbicide resistance. Farm Bureau – in a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack – notes that an APHIS risk assessment clearly justifies a determination of non-regulated status. According to Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman – U.S. agriculture must stay on the cutting edge of technology in order to remain internationally competitive and lead the world in achieving the productivity and efficiency gains required to meet the food, fiber and fuel demands and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century.
This new corn variety is tolerant of the 2,4-D herbicide that farmers have used for 60 years to control broadleaf weeds in fruit, vegetable and field crops – as well as turf and residential lawns. It has been reviewed by the EPA to evaluate the human health and environmental safety risks. When reassessed in 2005 – EPA registered the herbicide for use on crops including corn. Earlier this month – the agency issued a decision not to reopen the safety assessment for 2,4-D based on review of the best available science.
Farm Bureau’s letter to Vilsack also noted that concerns related to the use of herbicides in cropping systems should continue to be addressed by EPA – and that the manufacturer of DAS-40278-9 is addressing concerns related to the use of the corn variety near sensitive crops through innovative technology and stewardship methods.
Source: NAFB News Service