"5. Event 176 Corn exhibits no significant potential to either harm
organisms beneficial to the agricultural ecosystem or to impair the ability
of farmers to control nontarget insect pests.
6. Cultivation of Event 176 Corn should not reduce the ability to control
insects in corn and other crops.
Therefore, after a review of the available evidence, APHIS believes that
Event 176 Corn will be just as safe to grow as traditionally-bred
lepidopteran insect resistant corn varieties not subject to regulation under
7 CFR Part 340. APHIS concludes that there will be no significant impact on
the human environment if Event 176 Corn were no longer considered a
regulated article under regulations at 7 CFR Part 340."
West Virginia University
Division of Plant and Soil Sciences
At 06:25 AM 11/10/99 -0800, you wrote:
>This appears on the front page of today's business section of
>the Philadelphia Inquirer...
>I was wondering if anyone out there in SANET land knows if the
>EPA had to approve the release of bt Corn for sale. Since it
>produces its own pesticide, wouldn't the EPA regs have to be
>satisfied? Does anyone know if there was a Public Interest
>Document on bt corn prepared for EPA?
>Butterfly, corn link rethought
>A genetically modified form of the crop may not be as harmful to
>monarch larvae as a lab study indicated.
>By Andrea Knox
>INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
>Corn that has been genetically modified to kill a destructive
>insect may not be as harmful to the monarch butterfly as was
>feared. But it clearly poses some level of risk that needs to be
>That was the broad but inconclusive message from a scientific
>symposium last week near Chicago sponsored by Monsanto Co.,
>DuPont Co., and other companies that have staked their future on
>the development of genetically engineered crops.
>Those companies scrambled to fund additional research after
>Cornell University entomologist John E. Losey reported in May
>that monarch larvae in laboratory studies ate less, grew more
>slowly and died more quickly after eating pollen from
>genetically altered corn.
>Overnight, the perceived threat to the photogenic
>orange-and-black butterfly became a rallying point for critics
>of genetically altered crops, who contend they cause
>unanticipated environmental damage.
>Losey cautioned at the time that results he obtained in the
>laboratory needed to be confirmed in field tests. One question
>was the extent to which monarchs in the wild would come into
>contact with toxic levels of corn pollen.
>Corn that is genetically modified has been given an extra gene
>that manufactures Bacillus thuringiensis, which kills corn
>borers. The toxin, which is harmless to humans, spreads through
>the plant and into its pollen. The pollen is often blown onto
>milkweed, the only plant eaten by monarch larvae.
>The studies presented at last week's symposium generally found
>that the toxic concentrations of pollen don't travel very far
>beyond the cornfields. Losey also presented findings - again
>from the laboratory and not from field tests - that butterflies
>prefer to lay their eggs and feed on milkweed beyond the edges
>of cornfields rather than in the fields.
>"You put all this information together and it's pretty clear
>that the worst-case scenarios [of butterfly kill-off] . . . are
>unlikely to occur," said Galen Dively, a University of Maryland
>entomologist who attended the conference.
>However, John Pleasants of Iowa State University found that one
>strain of genetically engineered corn produces a high level of
>the poison and was toxic to butterflies at every level tested.
>This strain of corn is said to account for only a small
>percentage of the genetically altered crop.
>The participants agreed that more studies need to be done,
>particularly on whether butterflies in the wild use cornfields,
>and the extent to which eating the pollen could cause harm
>without killing the butterflies right away.
>About 10 of the 20 papers at the symposium were funded with
>$100,000 provided by the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship
>Working Group, the industry consortium that also sponsored the
>While some of the scientists involved said they would prefer to
>see funding from other sources, they said it wasn't likely to be
>"If industry doesn't support this research, it will be a long
>time before it's done, because it's difficult to get money for
>research on a noneconomic insect," said Chip Taylor, director of
>Monarch Watch, an education, research and conservation program
>at the University of Kansas.
>The industry "wanted to do what we could, but we haven't gotten
>to the point of funding additional research," said Doyle Karr, a
>spokesman for Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Des Moines, Iowa.
>Pioneer, a member of the biotechnology working group, is owned
>Karr said the industry was encouraged by the finding that "the
>worst-case scenario isn't going to happen." But he agreed that
>"there is definitely more we want to know."
>Taylor estimated that genetically modified corn would kill 5
>percent to 7 percent of all monarch butterflies at most.
>However, he said, it might also alter migration patterns so that
>monarchs would disappear from most of the United States.
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