NCC: Bollgard Decision Timely; Producer Compliance Encouraged

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed and finalized an agreement with Monsanto for re-registration of Bollgard.

October 2, 2001
Contact: Marjory Walker
(901) 274-9030

MEMPHIS – The National Cotton Council applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s signing of an agreement with Monsanto for the re-registration of Bollgard® and pledged today to continue encouraging producer compliance with insect resistance management requirements.

"We are pleased that the EPA has re-registered Bollgard® without any significant change in the insect resistance management (IRM) plans as recommended by the industry," said Hollis Isbell, chairman of the NCC’s American Cotton Producers.

The Alabama producer said, "Growers need this technology and are keenly aware of the importance for an effective IRM strategy. Consistent refuge options will help promote compliance."

Key elements of the new registration include continuation of the existing refuge options for insect resistance management as were in existence for the 2001 crop. Growers can continue to opt for a 95:5 external unsprayed refuge, a 95:5 embedded refuge or an 80:20 sprayed refuge. The use of a community refuge implementation strategy also is continued. Continuity of these plans was one of the main efforts the industry stressed in working with Monsanto and EPA for the re-registration.

While Bollgard® received a five-year registration, EPA will review the effectiveness of the 95:5 untreated refuge plan after three years to determine if any changes are necessary. Monsanto also agreed to arrange for third party annual surveys to measure grower compliance and understanding of resistance management plans. Growers also will have to annually re-affirm their compliance intentions.

In preparation for Bollgard® re-registration, EPA completed a risk assessment for Bt cotton concluding, "there are no unreasonable adverse effects from these products."

The Memphis-based NCC’s mission is to ensure the ability of all U.S. cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and manufactured product markets at home and abroad.