TC1507 is a variety of genetically engineered glufosinate tolerant Bt Corn made by Dow Agrosciences, Mycogen Seeds, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International (DuPont). It was deregulated in the U.S. in 2001 and first commercialized in the U.S. as "Herculex I" in 2003. In 2010, both Monsanto and Dow sold a variety branded as "SmartStax" that included the genes of line 1507.
Line 1507 was genetically engineered for European Corn Borer resistance by adding a gene to its DNA that makes it produce an insecticidal protein that is naturally made by a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), in every cell of the plant. The Bt protein the corn produces kills lepidopteran insects, including the European corn borer. Additionally, it was genetically engineered so that it does not die if sprayed by glufosinate herbicide, allowing a farmer to spray an entire field with the herbicide, killing only the weeds. Genetically modified organisms, including Bt crops and glufosinate tolerant crops are controversial around the world.
On May 15, 2000, the USDA received a petition from Mycogen Seeds c/o Dow AgroSciences LLC and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. requesting the deregulation of corn line 1507. On September 6, 2000, the USDA published a notice in the Federal Register, soliciting public comments, due on or before November 6, 2000. The USDA conducted an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). Corn line 1507 was deregulated June 14, 2001.
The USDA wrote on the Federal Register:
- "Corn line 1507 has been genetically engineered to express a Cry1F insecticidal protein derived from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thurigiensis subsp. aizawa (Bt aizawa). The Cry1F protein is said to be effective in controlling the larvae of common pests of corn such as European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, black cutworm, fall armyworm, and corn ear worm. The subject corn line also contains the pat gene derived from the bacterium Streptomyces viridochromogenes. The pat gene encodes a phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT) protein, which confers tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate. Expression of the added genes is controlled in part by gene sequences from the plant pathogen cauliflower mosaic virus and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The microprojectile bombardment method was used to transfer the added genes into the recipient inbred corn line Hi-II."
In 2003, Dow and Pioneer brought the 1507 line of Bt corn to market as "Herculex I."
In 2010, Monsanto and Dow commercialized a corn with six different Bt proteins engineered into it by combining the lines MON 88017, MON 89034, TC1507, and DAS 59122-7 into one genetically engineered corn. Monsanto sold it as Genuity™ SmartStax™ and Dow Agrosciences sold it as SmartStax™.
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- Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 157, August 14, 2001.
- http://www.organic-center.org/reportfiles/IRVINE_Final_PDF.pdf The Organic Center Presentation].
- Monsanto Company History, Accessed August 10, 2012.
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- Stephanie Bodoni, "French ban of modified maize dealt blow in court: Monsanto, 10 other companies, challenged action," STLToday.com, September 10, 2011.
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- Dan Piller, "Beetle resistance reported to Monsanto BT corn," Des Moines Register, August 28, 2011.
- Mike Gray, "Severe root damage to Bt corn confirmed in northwestern Illinois," Aces News, August 24, 2011.