Event 281-24-236 is a variety of Bt cotton created by Mycogen Seeds/Dow AgroSciences LLC. It was initially deregulated in the U.S. in 2004 and first commercialized in the U.S. under the brand name "WideStrike" in 2005. WideStrike cotton also contains the genes from Event 3006-210-23. Event 281-24-236 is genetically engineered to produce an insecticidal protein in every cell, using a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Specifically, it produces a protein like one produced by the Bt subspecies aizawi (Bt aizawi). Bt crops and genetically modified organisms are controversial around the world.
On February 5, 2003, Dow AgroSciences petitioned the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to deregulate Events 3006-210-23 (referred to in the quote below as cotton event Cry1Ac) and 281-24-236 (referred to below as cotton event Cry1F). APHIS published a notice in the Federal Register on March 9, 2004, soliciting public comments that were due by May 10, 2004. APHIS conducted an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act and concluded a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). Both events were deregulated in the U.S. on July 15, 2004.
At the time of deregulation, APHIS wrote in the Federal Register:
- "Cotton events Cry1F and Cry1Ac have been genetically engineered to express synthetic insecticidal proteins derived from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The petitioner states that the Cry1F and Cry1Ac proteins are effective in providing protection from the feeding of lepidopteran insect pests such as tobacco budworm, beet armyworm, soybean looper, and cotton bollworm. The subject cotton events also express the pat gene derived from Streptomyces viridochromogenes, a non-pathogenic bacterium. The pat gene encodes the enzyme phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT), which confers tolerance to glufosinate herbicides and is present in the cotton events Cry1F and Cry1Ac as a selectable marker. The subject cotton events were developed through the use of the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. Cotton events Cry1F and Cry1Ac were developed primarily so that they could be crossed to produce a cotton line which contains both the insecticidal proteins and thereby to maintain a range of effective control options for lepidopteran insect pests and to reduce the potential for the development of resistance to Bt insecticides."
- "WideStrike Insect Protection provides season-long, whole-plant protection from insect feeding damage, which allows cotton plants to remain healthier throughout the growing season. Full-season protection against insect damage facilitates cotton varieties reaching their full genetic growing potential and enhances yield potential for the cotton plant. WideStrike Insect Protection can also increase farmers' productivity by reducing various inputs (e.g., labor, fuel, equipment, pesticides) typically required for conventional insect control programs.
- "On the basis of rigorous testing, regulatory agencies concluded that cotton with WideStrike™ Insect Protection is as safe as conventional, non-transgenic cotton. The primary route of potential exposure would occur through ingestion. The proteins in WideStrike Insect Protection are present in common soil organisms, so exposure can also occur naturally but at much lower levels (see Exposure Potential and Health Information). Extensive safety data was provided by Dow AgroSciences LLC to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before cotton with WideStrike Insect Protection was approved for sale (see Environmental Information and Health Information)."
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- Bt Crops
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- Dow AgroSciences LLC