First, the superweeds started turning Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops into a farmer's nightmare. Now, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Monsanto Bt corn that's genetically engineered to kill insects is losing its effectiveness against rootworms in four states - and may be failing in others. Rootworms in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska are suspected of developing tolerance to the plants' insecticide, based on documented cases of severe crop damage and reports from entomologists, the EPA said. There have also been reports of Bt corn failure from Colorado, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The EPA said that Monsanto's program for monitoring suspected resistance is "inadequate".
The EPA said that Monsanto's proposed solution of using Smartstax corn, which contains two types of Bt toxin, in fields where bugs have developed resistance could merely hasten resistance to Smartstax. EPA's recommendation - which undermines the whole justification for introducing Bt crops - is that farmers use conventional insecticides to kill the bugs. [Read the Article]