corn

Obama administration to approve drought-resistant GM corn that USDA says grows no better than natural corn

Thursday, May 19, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: GM corn, USDA, health news

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(NaturalNews) The Obama administration is actively seeking to deregulate a new variety of genetically-modified (GM) corn created by Monsanto that allegedly tolerates drought conditions better than natural varieties. However, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) says the corn is no better than natural varieties that are already on the market, and that the GM corn requires just as much water as conventional varieties.

"The reduced yield [trait] does not exceed the natural variation observed in regionally-adapted varieties of conventional corn," says a recent USDA report on the matter. "Equally comparable varieties produced through conventional breeding techniques are readily available in irrigated corn production regions."

One such variety produced by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, for example, has been developed using traditional breeding methods rather than genetic engineering. And this naturally drought-resistant variety is already offered in Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, according to a recent report in The New York Times (NYT).

While Monsanto and the other biotechnology giants continue to repeat phony industry rhetoric about how GM crops are essential to feeding the world's populations, traditional and organic growing methods continue to shine as the true agricultural stars. In fact, a paper entitled, "Is Ecological Agriculture Productive?" released by the Oakland Institute found that organic agriculture alone could feed the entire world using just the land that is currently in cultivation (http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/?q=node/view...).

Reports indicate that the introduction of the new GM corn would have little-to-no positive effect on corn growing trends in the US. And while Monsanto insists the corn is safe for both humans and the environment, there have been no human trials involving the corn itself that back this claim.

The USDA is accepting comments on the proposed approval of the drought-resistant GM corn until early July. You can submit your own comments by visiting the following link: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=...

You can also submit comments via snail mail:

Docket No. APHIS-2011-0023
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road, Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Sources for this story include:

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/05/11/11gr...

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