Damage to Monsanto’s insect-resistant corn more widespread than originally thought

Federal monitors  this week said they have found more evidence that Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn is failing to kill the insects it is designed to repel.
Corn rootworm is damaging Monsanto’s corn, according to a report posted this week by the Environmental Protection Agency.

This summer researchers said they found evidence of problems in cornfields in Iowa and Illinois. The agency said this week, they also have found evidence of corn rootworm damage in Minnesota and Nebraska, and called Monsanto’s monitoring of the problem “inadequate.”

Researchers, in lab settings, have found evidence that the pests are growing resistant to a protein that is genetically engineered into the plants and designed to kill the pests after they consume it.

Monsanto said that it takes the report “seriously and remains committed to working with farmers to encourage the adoption of integrated pest management practices when managing high rootworm populations on farm” in a statement they issued.

Monsanto has said in a previous interview that the problem seems to be confined only to fields with high insect pressure, but they would not provide a company representative for interview on the topic. The company also says there is no “scientific confirmation” that the pest is developing resistance to the protein.

Source: AgriMarketing via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch