CSPI on EPA’s Approval of New GE Corn
Statement of CSPI Biotechnology Project Director Gregory Jaffe
February 25, 2003
Monsanto’s new genetically engineered rootworm-resistant corn, approved by the Environmental Protection Agency today, has enormous potential benefit to the environment because farmers can use less chemical insecticide on this crop. That benefit, though, could be squandered if it is planted without an adequate refuge—a buffer of non-genetically engineered corn that helps guard against the pest becoming resistant to the engineered crop.
Unfortunately, the EPA has decided to put the short-term interests of Monsanto over the long-term interest of the public. By insisting only on a 20-percent refuge of non-engineered corn—instead of the 50 percent recommended by an EPA-convened panel of experts—EPA is gambling with an important public resource. And once again, the biotech industry is showing itself to be its own worst enemy.