INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted deregulated status for Dow AgroSciences LLC’s WideStrike Insect Protection cotton. WideStrike is the company’s first cotton insect protection trait.

“Deregulation by USDA is considered the first step toward full U.S. regulatory approval for WideStrike,” says Joe Sobek, global cotton leader for Dow AgroSciences. “A pre-market consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is pending, and registration of the trait by the Environmental Protection Agency is anticipated later this year.”

“In the meantime, a third year of field testing of WideStrike is being conducted this season under an EPA Experimental Use Permit.”

WideStrike Insect Protection is a new, stacked insect-protection trait being researched, developed and introduced for use in the cotton market by Dow AgroSciences. The stacked trait expresses the Cry1F and Cry1Ac proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in cotton plants.

Extensive field trials show season-long protection from a broad spectrum of lepidopteran pests such as cotton bollworm, tobacco budworm, pink bollworm, beet armyworm, fall armyworm, southern armyworm, cabbage loopers and soybean loopers.

Efficacy results from these three years of field trials, including work conducted under an EUP during 2003, show a high level of activity against destructive lepidopteran pests in cotton. Results were consistent on pests in trials conducted throughout the Southeast, mid-South and Texas.

Upon federal and state registration, WideStrike Insect Protection will initially be available in new elite cotton varieties from PhytoGen Seed Co. Current plans call for WideStrike to be available alone and also stacked with the Roundup Ready technology in PhytoGen varieties adapted for use throughout the Cotton Belt. Field trials have shown that these new varieties demonstrate high yield potential and excellent fiber packages.

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, is a global leader in providing pest management and biotechnology products that improve the quality and quantity of the earth's food supply and contribute to the health and quality of life of the world's growing population. Dow AgroSciences has approximately 5,700 people in over 50 countries dedicated to its business, and has worldwide sales of approximately US $3 billion.

For more information about Dow AgroSciences, visit www.dowagro.com.

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