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New Wave of Genetically Modified Crops Clears a Regulatory Hurdle

Soybean plants that were grown from soybean seeds genetically engineered to resist a common weed killer
Soybean plants that were grown from soybean seeds genetically engineered to resist a common weed killerPhotograph by Dow AgroSciences via AP Photo

Dow AgroScience is one step closer to selling corn and soybean farmers a new system to fight weeds: genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant crops.

Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Dow’s Enlist seeds, limited only to testing so far, don’t pose a threat to agricultural crops or other plants. Federal officials proposed full deregulation of three varieties of corn and soybean, even as activists continue to warn that the resulting spread of an herbicide that the plants are designed to resist, called 2,4-D, would harm non-resistant plants, the environment, and human health.