ST. LOUIS, Missouri, March
23, 2005 (ENS): Monsanto has obtained U.S. regulatory clearance
for its next generation cotton technology, Roundup Ready Flex cotton
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA).
The company said last week that it intends to launch the genetically
modified cotton for the 2006 growing season.
No restrictions on domestic planting or food and feed use of Roundup
Ready Flex cottonseed exist now that the USDA and FDA have completed
their review processes. Yet, Monsanto remains committed to its stewardship
program for key export markets until regulatory clearance is granted
in those markets.
Cottonseed is pressed for oil for human use and the residue is
processed for animal feed.
“These clearances by USDA and FDA underscore the food, feed
and environmental safety of this and other plant biotechnology products
which have delivered tremendous value to growers and the environment
over the last 10 years,” said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., chief technology
officer of Monsanto.
Roundup Ready Flex cotton will provide a wider application window
for Roundup agricultural herbicides throughout the growing season,
providing growers with increased flexibility and convenience on
the farm, the company said.
“Since the introduction of Roundup Ready cotton in 1997,
growers have told us that they would like greater flexibility in
making herbicide applications. Roundup Ready Flex cotton was developed
to provide growers with greater flexibility throughout the season.
It will also facilitate the continued adoption and management of
reduced-tillage practices, and will help growers be less dependent
on selective spray equipment.” Fraley said.
Campaigners against genetically modified crops argue that the modified
proteins may cause allergies in sensitive people, and that organic
growers cannot keep their crops free of genetic modification.