Big agro screws organic corn

Here’s what the insane hippies at the Organic Consumers Association has been saying since at least 2000 about splicing natural pesticides into genetically modified corn:

Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis)-spliced corn and crops pose a mortal threat to organic and sustainable (low-chemical input) agriculture, since they may soon destroy the effectiveness of organic farmers’ most important biopesticide. In its non-GE, natural Bt spray form, Bacillus thuringiensis is the most important pest control agent in organic
agriculture, with yearly sales in the US alone of $60 million. This non-GE spray form of Bt is applied externally and evaporates within 2-7 days. Scientists predict that the super-potent, long lasting toxin found in Bt gene-spliced corn and other plants are likely to give rise to Superpests such as corn ear-worms which will be immune to the
natural organic Bt sprays.

And then there’s this (quoting the Wall Street Journal):

Widely grown corn plants that Monsanto Co. genetically modified to thwart a voracious bug are falling prey to that very pest in a few Iowa fields, the first time a major Midwest scourge has developed resistance to a genetically modified crop.

And from the Bloomborg:

Monsanto Co. (MON)’s insect-killing corn is toppling over in northwestern Illinois fields, a sign that rootworms outside of Iowa may have developed resistance to the genetically modified crop, according to one scientist.

Michael Gray, an agricultural entomologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana, said he’s studying whether western corn rootworms collected last month in Henry and Whiteside counties are resistant to an insect-killing protein derived from Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, a natural insecticide engineered into Monsanto corn.

Isn’t it great to be able to say “I told you so”? No? Confirmation of your intellectual cleverness isn’t adequate compensation for the impending loss of the best organic pesticide? Be a sport! All in good fun here.

2 thoughts on “Big agro screws organic corn

  1. quasecarioca

    The logic of monoculture is a truly frightening one. We wouldn’t need genetically modified corn with ingrown pesticides if we weren’t trying to grow acre after acre of exactly the same thing, contravening all basic common sense about the natural world. I’ll never forget reading an extensive description of the enormous quantity of pesticides used in growing Idaho Russet potatoes. Pesticides so potent and scary that the farmers themselves won’t go anywhere near the potato fields for five days for fear of carcinogenic fallout that would ensue. One of the plagues that hits Idaho Russets is a fungus that leaves a brown stain, making people’s McDonald’s french fries look all funky and ugly. Requiring another round of scary pesticides. Finally someone got around to asking an organic farmer what they do when that fungus starts to hit their potato crops. The response was staggering: “Just grow a different potato.”

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