USDA advances Monsanto's high-yielding maize
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has recommended the deregulation of Monsanto's genetically modified high-yielding MON87403 maize. The line has been modified for increased ear biomass at an early reproductive phase through the introduction of the Arabidopsis thaliana ATHB17 gene. The APHIS has prepared a draft environmental assessment and a preliminary pest risk analysis, which are subject to public comment until August 20th. It is applying the consultation process used for GMOs that raise substantive new issues. The APHIS received 20 comments in response to Monsanto's deregulation request. The company plans to combine MON87403 with other traits to create maize lines with increased yield and protection against maize pests and tolerance to multiple herbicides.