USDA Deregulates New Bt Cotton Trait Targeting Plant Bugs, Thrips

The cotton trait, MON 88702, was developed by Monsanto and is now owned by Bayer, which is branding it as ThryvOn cotton.

The new Bt cotton trait received a commercial registration earlier this year from EPA, which regulates any crops that produce pesticides, such as Bt proteins. ThryvOn varieties are also stacked with the VIP cotton trait and BollGard II trait. Now the agency has finished reviewing comments and is releasing the trait from its regulatory grip.

“APHIS considered all public comments and conducted a thorough review of the potential environmental impacts … reaching a finding of no significant impact”, the agency wrote on its website. “APHIS concluded … that the MON 88702 cotton variety is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants in the United States and is deregulating it effective Jan.” Both insects can be controlled by insecticides, but resistance has developed among both plant bugs and thrips to pyrethroids and organophosphate insecticides, as well as neonicotinoid resistance in thrips, Monsanto noted in its original petition for deregulation of MON 88702.

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