Super Rootworm Resistant to GMO Corn

Really bad news for farmers and their crops:

One of the nation’s most widely planted crops – a genetically engineered corn plant that makes its own insecticide – may be losing its effectiveness because a major pest appears to be developing resistance more quickly than scientists expected.[...]

When it was introduced in 2003, so-called Bt corn seemed like the answer to farmers’ dreams: It would allow growers to bring in bountiful harvests using fewer chemicals because the corn naturally produces a toxin that poisons western corn rootworms. The hybrid was such a swift success that it and similar varieties now account for 65 percent of all U.S. corn acres – grain that ends up in thousands of everyday foods such as cereal, sweeteners and cooking oil.

But over the last few summers, rootworms have feasted on the roots of Bt corn in parts of four Midwestern states, suggesting that some of the insects are becoming resistant to the crop’s pest-fighting powers.

Of course, this plays right into the hands of Monsanto. The mega-corporation has farmers by the balls. Farmers who don’t use Monsanto’s GMO will face a superworm that’s resistant to nearly everything, and so they’ll be forced to switch to proprietary Monsanto seeds, and deal with all of Monsanto’s creepy Seed Gestapo awfulness, or risk losing their crops. Plus, all of the farmers who bought tons of the Bt corn will have to upgrade to the next generation of corn.

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  • JMAshby

    Moore’s law has come to bio-engineering.

  • muselet

    Alternate headline (1): Why monoculture is a bad idea, part 2,137,450

    Alternate headline (2): Monsanto is evil [subhead: "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."]

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      I vote for (2)

      • muselet

        You just want Bob to quote Ripley, don’t you?

        –alopecia

  • D_C_Wilson

    Anyone paying attention to the GMO crops issue could see that Bt resistance was going to be inevitable. Scientists have been warning that was going to happen for years now. Of course, Monsanto’s response has been to sell from Bt crops with each year.