Feds: Use genetically modified crops on refuges?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold five public meetings in the South to hear people’s opinions about using genetically modified crops on wildlife refuges as food for migrating waterfowl.

Until this year, farmers working under a cooperative agreement could plant such crops on 44,000 acres – about 1 percent of the land in 129 refuges across 10 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The agency’s Southeast Region barred biotech crops after environmental groups sued.

The meetings are part of a new environmental assessment. They are scheduled June 6 in Columbia, N.C., June 10 in Decatur, Ala., June 11 in Dyersburg, Tenn., June 12 in Natchez, Miss., and June 13 in Alexandria, La.

A similar suit ended use of biotech crops in the agency’s 10-state Northeast Region.