Uh-Oh: Bugs Develop Resistance to Franken-Corn
Genetically modified crop no longer fends off all pests
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2011 6:01 PM CDT
File photo of a cornfield.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Farmers in Iowa who planted corn seeds genetically modified to fend off the dreaded corn rootworm are seeing a troubling sign: The rootworm is apparently developing a resistance to the Monsanto seeds and gobbling up cornfields again, say Iowa University researchers. It's still just a small percentage of rootworms that have adapted, reports AFP, but the development is renewing fears that biotech crops will create superbugs.

"These are isolated cases, and it isn't clear how widespread the problem will become," an Iowa State entomologist tells the Wall Street Journal. "But it is an early warning that management practices need to change." At Mother Jones, blogger Tom Philpott thinks Monsanto has put farmers on a "treadmill" of sorts: "the need to apply ever more, and ever more novel, high-tech responses to keep up with ever-evolving pests."

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Showing 3 of 65 comments
fancygapva
Aug 31, 2011 11:50 AM CDT
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Mr_Joshua
Aug 31, 2011 10:35 AM CDT
This just off a NYT story today. Are you convinced yet Guv and all you other Monsanto defenders? http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/profits-before-environment/?ref=global-home&gwh=4D6F5F2CE170D2D871E2FA9777F0D33A "But is anyone in power even trying? Last winter, the Department of Agriculture deregulated Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa, despite concerns about cross-pollination of non-genetically modified crops. It then defied a court order banning the planting of genetically modified sugar beets pending completion of an environmental impact study.Monsanto engineers these plants and makes Roundup, the herbicide they resist. But Roundup-ready crops don’t increase long-term yields, a host of farmers are now dealing with “superweeds” and there is worry about superbugs, nearly all courtesy of Monsanto. In fact, this system doesn’t contribute to much of anything except Monsanto’s bottom line. Yet Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack gave Monsanto the nod, perhaps yielding to pressure from the White House" And you can call me..................Mr Joshua
JamesDempsey
Aug 31, 2011 8:59 AM CDT
Its the red queen marching on. That happens regardless of one particular company's relative evil level, and has been happening since we first started planting crops. This is not news. What might qualify for news is if this particular cycle goes bad for our side.