USDA Looks to Approve First GE, Drought Tolerant Corn with no EIS

On May 11, 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the first-ever genetically engineered (GE), drought tolerant corn, MON 87460.  APHIS is currently soliciting comments on this unprecedented GE crop, due August 12, 2011.  The Center for Food Safety has reviewed the Draft EA, and, our analysis shows that has USDA not adequately analyzed or accounted for the various environmental and socio-economic impacts of this novel crop, and Monsanto has failed to make any significant progress on drought resistance through genetic engineering.

As with previous GE crop approvals, USDA’s proposal fails to comply with national environmental law, making APHIS’s approval illegal.

USDA’s proposal: 

  • Fails to adequately consider and protect organic consumers
  • Fails to recognize farmers and consumers have the right to choose non-GE
  • Fails to analyze the benefits of drought-tolerant organic corn as an alternative to MON87460
  • Fails to use sound science and relies excessively on Monsanto data
  • Fails to assess the environmental impacts of converting conservation land to MON87460 production

Tell USDA to obey the law! Further analysis and environmental protections are necessary before any approval should be considered.