It may be time to get into the heirloom seed business.
Not because they have some magical resistance to the Frankenbugs that Monsanto has created but to secure a spot in the lawsuit line.
Monsanto Co. (MON)’s insect-killing corn is falling 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.Not to worry, Monsanto says they can come up with a Solution®.
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.
The insects were collected in two fields where corn had toppled after roots were eaten by rootworms, Gray said today. Planting Bt corn year after year increases the odds that the bugs will develop resistance to the insecticide, he said. While the symptoms parallel bug resistance that’s been confirmed in Iowa, analysis of the Illinois insects won’t be complete until next year, he said.
“Whatever is the cause, it is generating a lot of concern.” Gray said in a telephone interview. “I wouldn’t say at this point it’s just an isolated field here or there.”
Lee Quarles, a spokesman for St. Louis-based Monsanto, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment....MORE
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