The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the registration of the YieldGard Rootworm corn product and Bollgard II insect-protected cotton technology developed by Monsanto Company through the 2006 growing season.
This extension enables Monsanto and corn seed companies that have licensed this product to sell the YieldGard Rootworm and Bollgard II products through this period. The extensions require the continuation of key stewardship practices, including the comprehensive insect resistance management (IRM) program for each product.
"Extending this registration is great news for the more than 200 seed companies and tens of thousands of U.S. farmers who plant biotech-enhanced corn hybrids," said Jim Zarndt, Corn Traits Product Manager for Monsanto. YieldGard Rootworm corn contains a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a common soil microbe that targets rootworm larvae, that allows the corn plant to naturally protect itself against the damaging corn rootworm insect pest. The Cry3Bb1 protein that is expressed in YieldGard Rootworm corn is from the Cry3 family of proteins, which are specific to the corn rootworm.
The EPA originally granted a short-term registration for YieldGard Rootworm corn in 2003 based on the existence of a time-limited exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for the Cry3Bb protein produced by YieldGard Rootworm corn. On March 31st, 2004, the EPA granted a non-expiring tolerance exemption for the Cry3Bb protein, in turn enabling the Agency to extend the registration for YieldGard Rootworm corn and Bollgard II cotton.
Bollgard II is the second-generation of insect-protected cotton developed by Monsanto. This technology contains two different insect-control genes, compared to the single insect-control gene in its predecessor Bollgard, and provides growers with benefits such as a broader spectrum of insect control and increased defense against the development of insect resistance.
The EPA also originally granted a short-term registration for Bollgard II cotton in 2002 based on the existence of a time-limited exemption from the requirement for a tolerance for the Cry2Ab2 protein produced by Bollgard II cotton. The EPA previously granted a non-expiring tolerance exemption for Cry1Ac, the protein produced in both Bollgard and Bollgard II cotton products, in 1997.