MARYSVILLE, Ohio -The USDA has cleared the way for Scotts Miracle-Gro, based here, to cultivate genetically modified tall fescue without conducting an environmental review of the new crop, reported The Capital Press Dec. 30.

The newspaper reports that Scotts Miracle-Gro has been testing glyphosate-resistant tall fescue with genes from other plants through a process in which a gene gun essentially shoots DNA-coated metal particles into the plant cell. Because the method does not involve the use of a plant pest for gene transfer, the USDA reportedly has no authority to regulate the tall fescue. Other biotech crops were made using a soil pathogen, which required USDA to study the plants before deregulating them.

News of the USDA stepping away from the GMO tall fesue comes less than a year after James Hagedorn, Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO, revealed that his company was evaluating the performace GMO Kentucky bluegrass on some of its employees’ lawns.

Over the past four years the company has persuaded the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that several biotech varieties of Kentucky bluegrass and St. Augustinegrass did not come under its regulatory jurisdiction, reported The Capital Press. To read the entire article, click here