May 10 U.S. regulators said Friday they want to assess the environmental impact of controversial proposed biotech crops developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical Co, and Monsanto Co that have come under criticism from groups who warn that the new herbicides associated with the new crops will accelerate weed resistance problems.
Both Monsanto and Dow's new crops are designed to tolerate new herbicides that the companies say will help farmers fight the millions of acres of weeds that have developed resistance to popular Roundup herbicide.
Critics warn that adding more herbicides to already resistant weed populations will only expand and accelerate weed resistance. Some have likened the problem to a "chemical arms race" across farm country.
USDA said it will prepare two separate environmental impact statements "to better inform decision-making."