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Monitoring for StarLink™ Corn to End


Current as of Current as of April 2008

EPA has finalized its White Paper recommending withdrawal of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) guidance to test for StarLink™ in corn. Testing of yellow corn started in 2000 following the detection of illegal residues of StarLink™ in the food supply. StarLink™ corn has not been planted since 2000, and new detections of StarLink™ residues have been virtually non-existent since 2003.

After a thorough analysis of the data and review of all comments received during a 2007 open comment period, EPA has concluded that potential exposure of the U.S. population to the Cry9C protein in StarLink™ corn in the current U.S. food supply is extremely low, and continued testing of corn grain by grain handlers and millers for the presence of Cry9C provides no additional human health protection. EPA’s analysis supports the FDA proposal to withdraw its recommendation that dry milling facilities and masa operations test yellow corn shipments for the presence of StarLink-derived Cry9C.

The final White Paper, which includes EPA’s responses to comments received during the open comment period, can be found in the electronic docket at under docket ID number EPA–HQ–OPP–2007–0832.


In 1998 EPA registered StarLink™ for commercial use, provided that all grain derived from StarLink™ corn was directed to domestic animal feed or to industrial uses, such as biofuels. EPA accepted the registrant’s voluntary cancellation request for StarLink™ after it was discovered in the human food supply in 2000. The FDA has recommended testing for the Cry9C protein since September 2000, when residues from StarLink™ were detected in taco shells. EPA’s StarLink™ White Paper evaluates the data available today, which includes the results of more than 4 million tests on 4 billion bushels of corn. The data indicates that there has not been a verified positive test of yellow corn for dry milling in the marketplace for at least three years.

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