SAMPLE PETITION—Herbicide-Tolerant Plants
I. Rationale for Development of Banjaran
American Star Biotechnologies, Inc. has developed genetically transformed cotton plants that are tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate. The major weed pests of cotton in the Southern United States include morning glories, cocklebur, pigweeds, johnsongrass, nutsedges, prickly sida, and bermuda grass. The development of glyphosate-tolerant cotton will allow producers the option of applying glyphosate postemergence in an over- the-top application or replacing preemergence herbicides under appropriate conditions. Introduction of these plants will offer producers several advantages: several toxic herbicides, including arsenic compounds can be replaced with a herbicide that is more benign to the environment; glyphosate-tolerant cotton would be compatible with IPM schemes; and glyphosate does not have carryover problems and restrictions on application that some currently approved cotton herbicides have. No increase of the proportion of cotton acreage treated with herbicide is possible because herbicides are currently used on 99 percent of the acreage.
The Cotton Family
Cotton as a Crop
Four species of the genus Gossypium are known as cotton, which is grown primarily for the seed hairs that are made into textiles. Cotton is predominant as a textile fiber because the mature dry hairs twist in such a way that they can be spun into fine, strong threads. Other products, such as cottonseed oil, meal, and cotton linters are byproducts of fiber production.
Cotton, a perennial plant cultivated as an annual, is grown in the United States mostly in areas from Virginia southward and westward to California in an area often referred to as the Cotton Belt (McGregor, 1976).
B. Taxonomy of Cotton
The genus Gossypium, a member of the Malvaceae, consists of 39 species, 4 of which are generally cultivated (Fryxell, 1984).