Rootworms 1, GMO Corn 0: New Report Shows Pest Resistance to Monsanto’s Bt Corn Unphased by Crop Rotation

corn field

In a report released last week researchers reveal growing pest resistance in IL cornfields, despite crop rotation aimed at slowing the steadily growing problem. The findings contribute to a growing body of evidence that GMO-driven agriculture fails the sustainability scratch test, despite well-funded industry hype.

First we saw glyphosate-resistance emerge in Roundup-Ready fields, creating ‘superweeds‘ that have become the bane of modern farmers. Then we saw the failure of Bt cotton, as the pink bollworm learned fairly quickly to laugh at (now devastated) Indian farmers who believed Monsanto’s spin and promises.

Last September EDB covered the problem of worsening pest resistance in Monsanto-seeded cornfields, and yesterday Reuters reported on the latest chapter of the GMO-Fail story:

“Evidence gathered from fields in two Illinois counties suggests that pest problems are mounting as the rootworms grow ever more resistant to efforts to fight them, including crop rotation combined with use of the biotech corn, according to the report issued by Michael Gray, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois.

Farmers across “a wide swath of Illinois” could face formidable challenges in protecting their corn crops from the hungry insects, Gray said in the August 27 report.”

Meanwhile, Monsanto and Dow are snuggling up with the USDA to expedite approval of more of the same approach that caused the pest resistance problem in modern farming; and pesticide use is on the rise, as GMO crops fail to deliver sustainable results.

Knowledge is Power

Persistent pest resistance is only part of the picture. If you’re new to pest resistance and other issues surrounding biotech-driven agriculture, grab your earbuds and go here:

… or pour yourself a nice cup of organic green tea or fair trade coffee, and settle into your favorite reading chair:

GMO Free Kitchfest!

How do we transform GMO knowledge into action, when it’s time for dinner?

  • Shop organic to the greatest degree possible. Not all non-organic foods are GMOs — conventional agriculture utilizes sythetic fertilizers and pesticides, without genetically modified and patented seeds. But unfortunately — until we get mandatory labeling in the US – there’s generally no way to be sure a given food is GMO free, unless it’s labeled organic.
  • You can also look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, on packaged foods.
  • Plant a garden, and support local growers! If you grow it yourself, you know exactly what kind of seed you used; if you know your farmer, you can say, ‘Yo Jim (or Kate, or whatever) — tell me about this squash!’
  • Since our subsidy system (surprise!) favors the GM giants that staff the USDA, organics tend to be more expensive. Cooking more foods from scratch — buying ingredients rather than packaged food items — saves grocery money with which to prioritize organics.
  • When you’re on a budget (and who isn’t?!), prioritize your organic dollars: corn, soy, and thin-skinned produce top the list! Go here for more on GMO-free shopping.

This latest news on pest resistance to Monsanto’s Bt corn isn’t shocking, or surprising, or astounding: it’s routine and commonplace and totally predictable, in the modern GMO-driven ag scene. IT WILL KEEP HAPPENING, and the biotech companies will keep making money off this kind of planned obsolescence, unless and until consumers demand something better from their food system.

So: let’s demand something better, from our food system!

Corn image via Shutterstock.

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