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Minnesota gives thumbs up to Syngenta, Pioneer/DowAgroSciences rootworm events

Agriculture.com Staff 04/27/2007 @ 3:01pm

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) granted on Friday a commercial use exemption to Herculex RW, a rootworm event developed and sold by Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Dow AgroSciences.

This comes on the heels of the MDA issuing earlier this week a stop-sale order to Dow AgroSciences halting further distribution or sale to Minnesota farmers of DAS-59122-7, the rootworm-resistant trait in Herculex RW and traits stacks found in some Pioneer and Mycogen brand seed.

The move came after MDA learned that Dow AgroSciences did not seek the required regulatory permission to sell this product in Minnesota. State law requires companies to obtain a commercial use exemption before allowing the sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed.

Earlier this month, the MDA issued the same stop-sale order for Syngenta's Agrisure RW trait. All companies involved with these two products satisfied requirements to obtain the commercial use exemption.

"Minnesota is the only state in the U.S. with a commercial use exemption for GMO crops," says Tom Gahm, head of communications for Syngenta Seeds. After supplying the MDA with the required technical information, the MDA granted the commercial use exemption to Syngenta.

Both products had received federal approval. "Once the USDA has given approval to a product, in this case the specific traits, the MDA wants to review the USDA documentation along with the EPA documentation," says Margaret Hart, MDA communications coordinator. "It's an extra step the state of Minnesota takes to examine any perceived threats to the environment or human health."

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) granted on Friday a commercial use exemption to Herculex RW, a rootworm event developed and sold by Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Dow AgroSciences.

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