Rootworm Evolves, Resistant to Biotech Corn
Scientists announced the evolution of a corn rootworm that is resistant to Bt corn. Rootworms used to cause billions of dollars of damage to U.S. crops until Bt corn was genetically altered to be poisonous to the rootworms. Currently, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn makes up three-quarters of the U.S. corn crop. With its implementation, farmers have been able to cut down on insecticides and cause less ecological damage. Warnings early on suggested keeping refuges of planted non-Bt corn so that rootworms would ultimately remain susceptible. But the suggestions were resisted by seed companies and eventually EPA itself, only setting voluntary refuge guidelines that were not widely followed. An increase in insecticide use and price point is sure to follow as resistance builds.
By Jordan Moses
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