) wholly-owned unit - Dow AgroSciences LLC - reported that the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has concluded the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for its Enlist corn and
soybean and Enlist E3 soybean traits and will see the review
process to move ahead.
The USDA, in the DEIS, recommended full deregulation (as the
"Preferred Alternative") for all three genetically-engineered
(GE), 2,4-D herbicide-resistant Enlist corn and soybean traits.
The DEIS is now open for a 45-day public comment
The Enlist system combines innovative traits and herbicides to
meet challenging weed control issues faced by farmers. The Enlist
E3 trait stack confers tolerance to 2,4-D herbicide, glyphosate,
and glufosinate. Enlist E3 soybeans have demonstrated how new
technologies can be implemented to speed up innovation, counter
significant weed challenges and improve yields, which would
eventually help farmers remain competitive.
However, the Enlist weed control system has been criticized by
various groups including the Center for Food Safety for
potentially causing adverse effects on health and environment.
Critics have warned that planting of Enlist corn will lead to a
significant rise in use of 2,4-D herbicide, thereby triggering
However, the USDA said that, based on preliminary findings, GE
corns and soybean plants do not pose a plant pest risk to crops
or other plants in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) is currently assessing the safety of the proposed new uses
of 2,4-D herbicide and will make its decision available for
public review and comment in the coming months.
Dow AgroSciences noted that new data from Nov 2013 showed 86%
corn, soybean and cotton growers in the South have
herbicide-resistant or hard-to-control weeds. Moreover, number of
farmers impacted by tough weeds in the Midwest now tops 61%. As
such, farmers require new tools to address significant weed
control problems. Data that contains the latest state of the
science on the trait and chemistry show that Enlist would help
address this challenge.
Dow AgroSciences expects the USDA to finalize its review and
deregulation of Enlist corn and soybeans so that farmers in the
U.S. can access them in 2015. The company will continue to work
with the USDA and back Enlist as it advances toward regulatory
clearances. Enlist corn and soybean traits are already approved
Dow AgroSciences and its development partner MS Technologies
recently declared that Enlist E3 soybeans have successfully
completed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA)
consultation. This represents the third Enlist trait to complete
the FDA Review for food and feed safety.
The data submitted to the regulatory authority was enough to
conclude that Enlist E3 soybeans are at par in context of
composition, safety, and other relevant parameters with
soybean-derived food and feed currently available in the
Dow AgroSciences also recently received the U.S. patent for
its 2,4-D herbicide tolerance event in Enlist corn. The
patent, which provides proprietary protection for corn plants
comprising the event and methods of using Enlist corn for
controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds, consolidates Dow's
leadership in trait technology.
Dow Chemical currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering are
Johnson Matthey plc
PPG Industries Inc.
). While Johnson Matthey carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
both PPG Industries and Olin retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
DOW CHEMICAL (DOW): Free Stock Analysis
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