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Mon Dec 26, 2011, 10:16 AM

USDA Approves Monsantoís Drought Tolerant Corn

from Treehugger:

USDA Approves Monsantoís Drought Tolerant Corn

Sara Novak
Living / Green Food

December 24, 2011

Just in time for the New Year, the USDA has approved MON 87460, drought resistant corn. Approval discussions began last May upon fears that droughts could cripple the U.S. crop in a country where 40 percent of crop loss insurance is collected as a result of moderate to major drought.

Monsanto sees a high demand looming and dollar signs as a result, especially considering that corn growing regions lose 15 percent of their crops worldwide each year due to drought. Monsanto will begin crop trials in the Great Plains region of the U.S.

But tests have found Monsantoís new genetically modified breed ineffective at its intended purpose. In fact, the USDA found that the crop didnít perform well according to an article in The New York Times, which said that "[t]he reduced yield [trait] does not exceed the natural variation observed in regionally-adapted varieties of conventional corn."

Gambling on Monoculture Crops

But itís not just an ineffective crop that creates a problem. Itís that the USDA is missing the ball entirely by deregulating another GM seed variety. Rather than continuing to approve monoculture crops for large scale production, we need to head back to our roots. The only way that farmers can adapt to drought conditions, which could occur more frequently as global warming looms, is by moving away from monoculture crops entirely. Just as you vary your investment portfolio, the same holds true for farming. Farmers are gambling on one or a few crops to remain intact even as our climate begins to change. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/usda-approves-monsantos-drought-tolerant-corn.html

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