Farmers will be allowed to continue growing genetically engineered corn after the government decided the corn isn't a threat to human health or the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency is renewing for seven years registrations for varieties of biotech corn that produce their own toxin to kill an insect pest, a moth larva called the European corn borer. The crop is known as Bt corn for a bacterium gene that it contains.
EPA said it is taking steps to ensure that farmers comply with planting restrictions that are supposed to prevent the development of insects resistant to the toxin.
Monsanto Co., DuPont Co., Syngenta and Dow Chemical Co. all hold registrations for Bt corn.
EPA's decision does not apply to StarLink, the biotech corn variety that was withdrawn from the market last year after its discovery in the food supply led to recalls of taco shells and other products. StarLink had never been approved for food use because of unresolved questions about its potential to cause allergic reactions.