Wholesale Approval of Genetically Engineered Foods - Obama Administration Disappoints/Angers Public*
from digitaljournal.com: Monsanto has been given the go-ahead to sell its genetically engineered, drought-resistant corn after the Obama administration quietly approved the variety, with the announcement being made during December’s Christmas break. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the controversial product after Monsanto submitted a petition for its approval in 2009. Monsanto maintains 40 percent of North American crop losses occur as a result of sub-optimal moisture. In a news release, Monsanto states the GE corn, MON 87460, carries the drought-tolerant trait to help maintain yield potential during drought stress. “Our drought system is designed to help farmers mitigate the risk of yield loss when experiencing drought stress, primarily in areas of annual drought stress,” said Hobart Beeghly, Monsanto’s U.S. product management lead, in the company statement. “This spring farmers in the Western Great Plains will have an opportunity to see how the system performs on their farm through on-farm trials.” Development of Monsanto’s drought-tolerant trait was part of a joint effort with Germany’s chemical giant, BASF.