In recent months, the rootworm has caused damage in fields planted with Bt corn, which is engineered to kill the pest. . . These Bt seeds are just the latest in a long list of engineered seeds that have failed to stand up against the rootworm, “which has now officially shown some level of resistance to every rootworm Bt protein on the market.”
While this is clearly an immediate problem for commodity farmers, it also points to a much larger, systemic failure of genetic engineering technology to change farming—and control pests—in ways that are fundamentally more sustainable. In fact, it can be argued that genetic engineering has actually exacerbated the huge failures of industrial monoculture farming.
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Stonewalling by Monsanto delayed what might have been an effective action to slow the spread of resistance, but would have likely come at the cost of reduced sales of Monsanto’s expensive seed. Then resistance was formally confirmed in 2011.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Root of the Rootworm Problem: What a Tiny Beetle Can Tell Us About Our Broken Agricultural System