USDA OKs Monsanto’s GM drought-tolerant maize
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has proposed the deregulation of Monsanto’s genetically modified drought-tolerant MON87640 maize. It has issued draft environmental and plant pest risk assessments for public comment until July 11th. MON87460 maize expresses a cold shock protein B, derived from the bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, which helps maintain plant cellular functions. It is expected to reduce yield loss under water-limited conditions compared with conventional maize. Data suggest that MON87640 reduces yield loss primarily through increased kernel number per ear under water-limited conditions by minimising its effect on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and carbon fixation.