The USDA says it's going to extend its reviews of new herbicide-resistant Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from both Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto which are seeking deregulation of those products.
Dow says the decision by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will delay getting its Enlist products to farmers into 2015. APHIS announced it will prepare two separate environmental impact statements (EIS) for crops genetically engineered to be resistant to 2,4-D and Dicamba.
Dow's Enlist Weed Control system for corn and soybeans and Monsanto's double herbicide-resistant cotton and soybeans are subject to the additional reviews.
In response, Dow says by the USDA's own admission, these herbicides have been "safely and widely used" for decades. A Dow statement further says that adverse trends of glyphosate-resistance and hard to control weeds will continue without its state-of-the-art Enlist system. The company says it will keep working with USDA/APHIS to get those technologies approved to give farmers more crop planting options.
Under federal law, APHIS says it is required "to evaluate the potential environmental impacts that could result from a deregulation of new GE plants by the Agency."