Monsanto seeks US deregulation for dsRNA maize
Monsanto has applied to the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to deregulate its genetically modified insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant MON87411 maize. It has been modified to express a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) transcript and the Bt Cry3Bb1 toxin for the control of corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp). The line is also tolerant to the herbicide, glyphosate. It is the first GM crop using RNA interference (RNAi) technology to be submitted for deregulation. While proponents of the technology argue that existing regulatory frameworks are sufficient, others urge regulators to be cautious. The EPA is reviewing its approach to RNAi technology through its Scientific Advisory Panel (Agrow No 682, p 17). Monsanto hopes to introduce the technology as SmartStax Pro by 2017. The deregulation request for MON87411 is open to public comment until May 6th.