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Researchers Say Pest Developing Resistance to Bt Corn

Corn Rootworm Beetles
Photo from the University of Nebraska
Corn Rootworm Beetles

Insect scientists say federal regulators need to take action against a growing pest problem in biotech corn.

They say corn rootworm has started to become resistant to Monsanto’s Bt corn, which is genetically engineered to resist the damaging and costly pest.

The 22 scientists expressed their concerns in a letter sent to EPA last week.

Monsanto spokesperson Danielle Stewart says the company has been working closely with corn farmers who had more crop damage than expected last season.

“The vast majority of farmers experienced excellent performance on more than 99.8%  of the acres planted with Monsanto corn rootworm traits in 2011, and we are working closely with farmers, academics and the EPA to evaluate reports of greater-than-expected corn rootworm damage in certain fields,” Stewart said.

Farmers have also experienced resistance problems with other genetically-engineered crops.

Thanks to St Louis Public Radio


Rich is TSPR's News Director.