US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News :: Politics
Unseen harvest of gene war on billion-dollar pest
21 Jan 2012
One of America'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. The United States food supply is not in any immediate danger because the problem remains isolated. But scientists believe potentially risky farming practices could be blunting the hybrid's sophisticated weaponry.
By Rick Callahan
5:30 AM Saturday Dec 31, 2011

When it was introduced in 2003, "Bt corn" seemed like the answer to farmers' dreams. It would enable growers to bring in bountiful harvests using fewer chemicals because the corn naturally produced a toxin to poison a major pest, the western corn rootworm.

The hybrid was such a swift success that it and similar varieties now account for 65 per cent of all US corn hectares - 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.

Scientists say the problem could be partly the result of farmers who have planted Bt corn year after year in the same fields.

Most farmers rotate corn with other crops in a method long used to curb the spread of pests, but some have abandoned rotation because they need extra grain for livestock or have grain contracts with ethanol producers.

Complete article at:

This work is in the public domain
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.