Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beetle Develops Resistance To Monsanto's Genetically Modified Corn

Lucia Graves - Huff Post

WASHINGTON -- Corn beetles have been consuming plants that were genetically modified to be resistant to that very beetle, raising fears that a new s
uperbug could develop or that farmers could be forced to increase the use of pesticides.

In a study published late last month, Iowa State University entomologist Aaron Gassmann found that western corn rootworms (WCR) in four Iowa fields have developed resistance to an insect-killing protein derived from Bacillus thuringiensis, also known as Bt, the natural insecticide in Monsanto's genetically modified corn plant.

While there's still no evidence that any significant number of the pests have become resistant to the genetically modified seeds sold by agribusiness giant Monsanto, the findings may have farmers looking for alternatives.

Laboratory testing confirmed beetles were able to pass on Bt-resistance to their offspring.

"These results suggest that improvements in resistance management and a more integrated approach to the use of Bt crops may be necessary," Gassmann wrote in his study.

But Monsanto, which first released the genetically modified seeds in 2003, said the vast majority of customers are still getting good returns from the technology.

"These products continue to perform very well for growers in 2011, providing the expected level of WCR control on more than 99% of the acres planted with this technology," Monsanto wrote in a statement on its website.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this information with your readers!

Coldstreamer said...

This was an inevitable outcome. So far almost all insecticides developed by humans became useless as insects, bacteria and viruses produced resistant strains through mutations. Introducing insecticides into the genome of plants is a tricky business. The wrong insecticide incorporated into the plant genome could kill the intended pest as well as the human consumer.

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.