DuPont Insect Protection Product Reaches Regulatory Milestone
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published official notice of its intent to convene a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) for the Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 Insect Protection regulatory submission by DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred. This means that critical commercialization milestones are progressing as planned for the product.
“We are encouraged by this decision,” said Bill Niebur, vice president, DuPont Crop Genetics, Research and Development. “The EPA carefully reviews and considers all regulatory submissions and often asks for help from an SAP whenever there is new science, a significant change requested, or a truly novel product – all of which apply to Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 Insect Protection.”
Under current rootworm refuge requirements, growers who use Herculex RW or Herculex XTRA seed products to control corn rootworms must plant 20 percent of their acres with seed products that do not contain Herculex RW or Herculex XTRA. The acres serve as a refuge to produce susceptible insects to help prevent the development of resistance to in-plant insect protection traits. While effective in prolonging the efficacy of traits, refuge acres are at risk for yield loss from rootworm damage, as well as increased corn insecticide costs. Pioneer’s regulatory submission to the EPA includes a request that Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 Insect Protection would reduce the required rootworm refuge to 2 to 5 percent and deliver it in a convenient new, single seed bag approach.
The SAP will provide advice to the EPA on the science supporting Optimum® AcreMax 1™ Insect Protection. The panel consists of seven members representing a breadth of scientific disciplines and also is augmented by additional experts who assist with reviews.
Pending regulatory approval and field testing, Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 should be the first reduced and integrated corn rootworm refuge product in the marketplace that will offer growers the opportunity to lessen rootworm refuge acres and therefore raise overall farm yields, while still ensuring the preservation of in-plant insect protection traits. Pioneer is expected to introduce Optimum® AcreMax™ 1products in 2009.
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