A genetically modified corn seed has been the subject of heated debate over its safety and environmental impact on wild rice, while some farmers in Brazil have expressed concerns that the seed will not produce enough of the protein it promises.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the seeds for use in maize and canola.
But critics say it could cause severe genetic and environmental damage to wild rice and other crops, including the soybean that is often grown for livestock feed.
The agency said on Thursday that it has not received a petition from a farmer to halt its approval of the corn seeds.
But it said it would continue to monitor the corn and other GM crops, which it said were safe and that it did not expect to need to regulate them.
A company that makes the corn, Syngenta, said in a statement that it was “very happy” with the USDA approval.
But the company said it will have to find other ways to produce the seeds, and said it was looking for a source for more corn to meet demand in the future.
A farmer in Brazil said the seeds had been approved and would be ready by the end of the year.
“They are a huge boon for the farmers and a great boost to the environment,” said Eduardo Marcelino, whose land has been cultivated for decades by some indigenous groups.
The soybean, he said, will not grow as fast.
Soybean farmer says seed approved by FDA is not safe for wild rice The corn is not the only GM crop to have raised concern over its impact on rice.
Earlier this month, the FDA approved a genetically modified version of the rice-grain protein that can be used to make other crops such as canola and corn.
The corn-seed protein is a different type of protein than the protein found in the corn that has been approved for use.
Last week, the agency also approved the first commercial use of genetically modified soybeans, a soybean used in feed for cattle and cattle feed for livestock.
The Soybean Improvement Act requires the use of GMO crops in the production of feed to feed livestock.