Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

Last US state allows GM corn

Maine is joining the rest of the US in allowing farmers to grow a type of genetically altered corn.

The Board of Pesticides Control voted to let farmers grow the crop that's resistant to insects. It'll be used only for animal feed as it is in other states, and the seed companies will have to provide sales data to the state.

Organic growers concerned
Organic growers have been concerned that their crops will be contaminated by cross-pollination with the genetically modified corn. But the Board of Pesticides Control said Friday that its mandate of reducing pesticide use and its concern about state farmers being at a competitive disadvantage without the genetically altered feed trumped those concerns.

"If we don't take advantage of this technology, these farmers may not be here in five or 10 years down the road," board member Richard Stevenson said. Critics urged the board not to cave to pressure for Maine to follow the rest of the nation in adopting the use of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, corn. They said the modified corn poses a potential threat to wildlife and plants, as well as people. "This technology has been out there about a generation," said Peggy Gannon of Stetson, "and there have been no long-term tests on humans."

The three companies that petitioned to sell the corn -- Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Monsanto -- also will be required to provide sales data to the state so it can track the use of the seed.

Related websites:
Dow AgroSciences  
Pioneer Hi-Bred  


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