Monsanto Rootworm Crisis

Monsanto Puts Nation's Corn Supply At Risk

Written by Alex Reid
Posted March 12, 2012

As if there weren’t enough reasons to find Monsanto fundamentally loathsome.

A group of concerned plant scientists from various universities informed the EPA on March 5 that biotech corn is losing its resistance to plant-damaging life forms.

Corn, being the basis for ethanol, animal feed and many foods we eat, is kind of important.

For some time, farmers have been relying heavily on Monsanto’s genetically modified corn that helps combat the problem of rootworm. Monsanto introduced this particular strain of corn in 2003. The corn, containing a protein called “Cry3Bb1” is supposed to fend off rootworm.

However, scientists have recently discovered that the genetic modification is waning in its effectiveness and could lead to serious losses in crops. Reports of rising insect resistance have come from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Monsanto responded by saying their seeds are effective and the problem is small. They also said farmers should rotate their corn with Monsanto’s soybeans, use another of Monsanto’s corn and also use insecticides.

“Rootworm performance inquiries in 2011 were isolated to less than .2% of the acres planted with Monsanto rootworm-traited corn hybrids,” Danielle Stuart, a Monsanto spokeswoman explained.

Of course the company didn't mention the fact that the more you use this crap, the faster its effectiveness wanes. What percentage of acreage do we have to reach before Monsanto admits that there really is a problem here?

It's also worth mentioning that according to researchers, insecticides don't actually address the level of insect resistance, and really serve to do nothing more than raise production costs.

“When insecticides overlay transgenic technology, the economic and environmental advantages of rootworm-protected corn quickly disappear,” scientists wrote in their letter to the EPA.