Monsanto Genetically Modified Crops Make the Drought Worse

Friday, August 10, 2012
As if farmers weren’t having enough troubles from the severe drought affecting much of the United States, agricultural-biotechnology giant Monsanto has added to the suffering through one its genetically engineered creations.
Corn modified with a toxic gene of the pesticidal bacteria Bt was designed to kill off pests, such as western rootworms. But farmers are now finding Bt-resistant western rootworms eating their corn crop in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.
These states as well as others are already struggling to keep from losing their plants because of the drought.
Rootworms can thrive under dry conditions, and the worms damage plants that are already severely stressed by heat and lack of water.
In Illinois, entomologist Michael Gray reported the pest’s “season” was “underway at a pace earlier than I have experienced since I began studying this versatile insect as a graduate student in the late 1970s.”
Monsanto says it is aware of the claims and is collecting samples to study. But so far has found no definitive proof that the rootworm has built up resistance to its genetically modified corn.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Performance Problems Surface Again with Bt Corn Rootworm Traits (by Ken Ostlie and Bruce Potter, Minnesota Crop News)



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