Canada approves Monsanto/Dow GM corn
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has quietly approved a new genetically engineered corn with eight different insect- and weed-fighting traits, but farmer and environmental groups in Canada say the approval was rushed and environmental risks ignored.
Developed through a research agreement between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, SmartStax corn is unique in that it “stacks” eight different genetically engineered traits that will allow corn to tolerate certain weed- and insect-killing products made by the two companies.
Each of the eight traits has been individually approved by the CFIA, but opponents are concerned there might be unintended consequences when the traits are combined.
“You’d think that a combination of eight GE traits would trigger an environmental assessment, but the CFIA has (provided) no public record of their evaluation,” said Lucy Sharratt, co-ordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.
The CFIA has also conditionally authorized for SmartStax a reduction in the size of the buffer zone, or “refuge,” normally required around genetically engineered corn.- CanWest News Service