October 21, 2015
Monsanto, BASF develop bigger GM corn
Monsanto officials claim they, in collaboration with BASF, have developed a new variety of genetically modified corn designed to increase ear size by about 12%, Wisconsin Ag Connection reports.
The development would add an extra inch or two to a typically foot-long ear of corn. This appears to be a small gain, but the economic impact could be far-reaching, considering that corn grain has numerous applications in food products to livestock feed and even fuel.
"Farmers get an improved harvest and higher yields," said Joe Walsh, North American corn technology lead for Monsanto. "It would be the first product of its type."
However, some economists caution that widespread growing of GM corn could add pressure to a market already hurting from low prices driven by excess corn supply.
Some industry groups also claim another high-profile release of GM corn could worsen international trade barriers.
The US Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency must approve new biotechnology products before they enter the market.