EPA, Critics Soften Stance on Pesticidal Plants

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Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 249
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.249

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Four years after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aired a controversial plan to require companies to show that plants equipped with new or foreign genes coding for pesticides or other resistance traits are safe for humans and harmless for the environment, the agency and its critics are finding common ground. At a 24 March hearing on Capitol Hill, EPA officials said they plan to make changes--for example, expanding a list of plant modifications exempt from regulation--before issuing a final rule this year. EPA's relaxed stance, however, may raise the hackles of some groups that want to see even more stringent regulation.