MON 802 is a variety of Roundup Ready Bt corn made by Monsanto that was deregulated in the U.S. in 1997. It has been genetically engineered for European Corn Borer resistance. It produces an insecticidal protein that is naturally made by a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), in every cell of the plant. The Bt protein the corn produces kills lepidopteran insects, including the European corn borer. It also contains a gene that allows it to survive being sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup. Bt crops, Roundup Ready crops, and genetically modified organisms are controversial around the world.
On November 12, 1996, Monsanto submitted a petition to deregulate a variety of Roundup Ready and European Corn Borer Resistant Corn identified as MON802. On December 18, the USDA published a notice in the Federal Register, soliciting public comments, which were due by February 18, 1997. The USDA conducted an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). MON 802 was deregulated on May 27, 1997.
The USDA wrote in the Federal Register:
- "Corn line MON 802 has been genetically engineered to express a CryIA(b) insect control protein derived from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thurigiensis subsp. kurstaki (Bt). The petitioner stated that the Bt delta-endotoxin protein is effective in protecting the subject corn line from damage caused by the European corn borer throughout the growing season. The subject corn line also expresses the CP4 EPSPS protein isolated from Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4 and the GOX protein cloned from Achromobacter sp. strain LBAA, which, when introduced into the plant cell, confer tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate. The particle acceleration method was used to transfer the added genes into the parental corn line and their expression is controlled in part by the intron from the corn hsp70 gene and by gene sequences from the plant pathogens Agrobacterium tumefaciens and cauliflower mosaic virus. The nptII selectable marker gene is present in the subject corn line under the control of a bacterial promoter, but is not expressed in the plant."
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- Federal Register, Vol. 62, No. 109, June 6, 1997.
- G. Chandrashekhar, "Monsanto hopes India will clear Bt corn in 3 years," The Hindu, September 10, 2011.
- Stephanie Bodoni, "French ban of modified maize dealt blow in court: Monsanto, 10 other companies, challenged action," STLToday.com, September 10, 2011.
- Jack Kaskey, "Monsanto Corn Falls to Illinois Bugs as Investigation Widens," Bloomberg, September 2, 2011.
- Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011.
- Associated Press, "Monsanto shares slip on bug-resistant corn woes," Forbes, August 29, 2011.
- Scott Kilman, "Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance," Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2011.
- Dan Piller, "Beetle resistance reported to Monsanto BT corn," Des Moines Register, August 28, 2011.
- Mike Gray, "Severe root damage to Bt corn confirmed in northwestern Illinois," Aces News, August 24, 2011.
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