USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services posted its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean varieties in the December 12 Federal Register, initiating a 30-day review period before the agency publishes its final decision on deregulation of these varieties.
“The final EIS moves us one step closer to the introduction of these products, paving the way to provide access to dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans,” said Miriam Paris, Xtend System Launch Manager at Monsanto. “This is a significant milestone in providing farmers new tools to manage weeds and time more efficiently, which should help farmers have better harvests.”
Before reaching its decision, USDA considered nearly 5,000 comments submitted by farmers, academic and scientific experts and other key stakeholders. An overwhelming majority of those who provided feedback during the public comment period voiced support for the new trait technology.
While the USDA action brings deregulation of the trait one step closer to completion, the new technology will not be commercially available until EPA issues a label that allows the use of dicamba chemistry over the top of these tolerant varieties. EPA currently is working on label details, but no timetable for approval has been announced.
Sources – National Cotton Council, Monsanto