Is Monsanto’s BT Corn Losing Its Pop?

from triple pundit: This seems to be the case with Monsanto’s embattled Bt corn, with the western corn rootworm playing the role of the trick birthday candle. Research entomologist Aaron Gassmann at Iowa State University released a study last month that showed that the little critter was ingesting the Cry3Bb1 toxin that the plant was engineered to produce and then merrily going about its business of destroying the plants. This appears to be the first field report of resistance to the toxin. Other researchers, such as Mike Gray, an entomologist with the University of Illinois who is studying rootworm damage in northwestern Illinois fields, do not think it will be the last. “These Bt hybrids are grown very widely. I think there is the potential for more problems to surface.” Monsanto claims that this is not a case of “resistance,” but did not offer an alternative explanation other than to say that it was confined to as little as 10,000 acres in certain “hot spots.”

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