USDA advances Monsanto's MON87411 maize
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a draft environmental assessment (EA) and a preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) in response to Monsanto's application for the deregulation of its genetically modified insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant MON87411 maize. The APHIS has made a preliminary determination that the maize does not present a plant risk and favours deregulation. The maize has been modified to express a double-stranded RNA transcript and the Bt Cry3Bb1 toxin for the control of corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp) and is also tolerant to the herbicide, glyphosate. RNA interference technology has been employed because some corn rootworm populations have become resistant to Cry toxins in Bt maize crops. Monsanto plans sell MON87411 as a stacked product with approved GM maize traits under the SmartStax Pro brand.