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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'corn rootworm' Category


03
Jan

Research on Corn Pest Finds No Economic Benefit to GE Corn in the Northeast

(Beyond Pesticides, January 3, 2014) A recent study on the European corn borer (ECB), a major corn pest, finds no significant difference in yield between genetically engineered (GE)Bt (ECB-resistant) corn and non-GE corn in the Northeast, where pest pressure has decreased. Considering the high cost of GE corn, researchers determine that farmers will see no benefits in terms of profit. The study, published in the journal Pest Management Science, examines the damage that ECBs cause to crops, comparing corn genetically engineered to express the insecticidal toxin Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) with non-Bt crops at 29 sites around Pennsylvania over three years. The study concludes that although Bt corn hybrids reduced ECB damage in comparison to non-Bt crops, they found no difference in yields, explaining that because of higher seed costs they also “rarely improved profits.” Although researchers attribute the decline in ECB population to the adoption of Bt corn, the study does not address long-term insect resistance which can develop in fields after the introduction of GE crops and lead to an increased use in pesticides. “With less ECB damage around, non-Bt hybrids in our tests yielded just as well as Bt hybrids, so the decline in ECB populations provides an […]

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03
Sep

Another Study Finds Rootworms Resistant to Genetically Engineered Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, September 3, 2013) For the past several years, corn rootworms  have  been widely reported to exhibit resistance  to corn genetically engineered (GE) with the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. A  new report by  University of Illinois researchers found the resistant corn rootworm  in two of the state’s counties significantly damaged by western corn rootworm. The increasing lack of efficacy of GE corn, developed with the claim that it  is specifically designed to protect corn from rootworm, calls into question the efforts of agrichemical companies to patent new forms of GE crops. The report by Joe Spencer, PhD, and Michael Gray, PhD,  identifies significant damage from western corn rootworms in farm field that were planted with GE corn that contain a Bt protein referred to as “Cry3Bb1,” which has been inserted into nearly one-third of the corn planted in the United States. This version of Bt corn was introduced by Monsanto in 2003, and was touted as a way to reduce insecticide use against rootworm pests. Evidence was gathered in two Illinois counties, Livingston and Kankakee, after fields that had severe root pruning and lodging were brought to the attention of Drs. Spencer and Gray. Dr. Gray was quoted in […]

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24
May

Insecticide Sales Rise with Failure of GE Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, May 24, 2013) Insecticide sales have soared over the past year as target insects have developed resistance to crops genetically engineered (GE) to incorporate an insecticide. Contrary to industry claims that the technology would reduce pesticide use, crops like corn, engineered to protect against rootworm have been ineffective and farmers have begun applying additional insecticides. The GE corn seed, developed by Monsanto, was released in 2003 to target a gene allowing plants to express a pest-killing toxin, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The  pesticide incorporated plant  (PIP)  was developed to kill western corn rootworm, a potentially devastating pest that does its greatest damage in chemical-intensive agriculture during its larval stage by feeding upon the plant’s roots. Severe feeding inhibits the plant’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients and opens a pathway for attack from soil-borne pathogens. In 2011, entomologists at Iowa State University published a study verifying the first field-evolved resistance of corn rootworm to a Bt toxin. The researchers documented resistance to the Bt toxin Cry3Bb1. Now, almost a decade after the seed was introduced, almost two thirds of U.S. grown corn contains the Bt toxin, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although USDA data shows an […]

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25
Jan

Corn Rootworm Resistance to Toxins in GE Crops, Says EPA

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has  concluded that corn rootworm is now resistant to genetically engineered corn infused with a toxin derived from Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, in certain parts of the Corn Belt, casting doubt on the future viability of GE corn. The conclusion of the Insect Resistance Management (IRM) Team is based on several years of data indicating that the Cry3Bb1 protein strain of Bt is ineffective at controlling corn rootworm. The press release on January 17 states: “The EPA IRM Team has concluded that corn rootworm may not be completely controlled by Cry3Bb1 in certain parts of the Corn Belt. While ”˜confirmed resistance’ as defined in registration documents has not been met, given the nature of the data, the manufacturer, Monsanto, has agreed to several actions and changes related to the registration of Cry3Bb1 products to address these matters.” Originally marketed by Monsanto in 2003, the protein Cry3Bb1 is designed to destroy the gut of the western corn rootworm. The rootworm has historically devastated corn fields, causing greatest damage in chemical-intensive agriculture during its larval stage by feeding upon the plant’s roots, inhibiting the plant’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients […]

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