Biotech Updates

Improving Bt Corn Refuge Compliance

February 11, 2011

"Biotechnology is an important part of modern agriculture's ability to sustainably meet the worlds increasing demands for food, feed, and fuel," said Chad Blindauer, Chair of the National Corn Growers Association's Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. "Given the benefits of Bt products, farmers and trait providers have a duty to ensure proper stewardship to keep this technology viable and on the market."

To this end, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new set of requirements enumerated below, that is now incorporated into their Compliance Assurance Programs for the 2011 growing season.

  • On-farm refuge compliance assessments will be conducted by an independent third-party and will be focused on (i) areas of highest risk of insect pest resistance development and (ii) growers who did not buy sufficient refuge seed from the Bt corn registrant.
  • Growers found to be out of compliance with the refuge requirements (i) now have a higher probability of losing access to Bt corn if compliance is not established and maintained and (ii) will be checked more frequently by the Bt corn registrants.
  • Seed bag tags will better depict refuge size requirements.

For details of the requirements, see the original news at