Monday, September 16, 2013

Farmers Still Suffering From BT Resistant Rootworms

More images at the link.

Farmers Still Suffering From BT Resistant Rootworms

Crop rotation strategies not alleviating Bt resistance in Illinois Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

New evidence from two Illinois farms shows that even integrated pest management strategies such as crop rotation are unable to stave off the spread of Bt pest resistance to genetically modified (GM) Bt corn [1]. After planting Monsanto’s VT Triple PRO RIB corn containing the insecticidal Cry3Bb1 toxin for the first time, the farmers from Livingston and Kankakee counties saw severe damage to their corn as well as soybeans grown in adjacent fields. They went on to contact entomologists Dr Joe Spencer and Dr Michael Gray from the University of Illinois to come and analyse the damage.

The first official evidence of resistance to Bt toxins in the field was published in 2010 [2] (see [3] Bt Rootworm Spreads, SiS 52). Since then, GM proponents have claimed that a lack of compliance by farmers to include a refuge area of non-GM corn, as well as dropping traditional pest management strategies of crop rotation were the underlying reasons for the development of such rapid resistance to Monsanto’s Bt crops. However, in both the present cases, the farmers have stuck to crop rotation strategies only to find a complete failure of Monsanto’s GM technology to do its job. The crops are suffering from large numbers of pests (Figure 1), severe root pruning (Figure 2) and damage (Figure 3) as well as lodging of the plants (Figure 4). Pest numbers were reportedly comparable to levels seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Further lab tests are planned to confirm genetic Cry3Bb1 resistance in the pests themselves. The scientists are now warning farmers that they may face serious challenges in protecting their crops.

The process of crop rotation is meant to delay the time needed by pests to adapt to the toxin and gain resistance. Monsanto states that every grower of their Bt crops must comply with licensing agreements that include an Integrated Pest Management plan with crop rotation, the planting of non-GM refuge areas, as well as selecting appropriate cultivars among other things [4]. The company claims that growers of its crops “have found them to be highly compatible with their goals of integrated pest management (IPM) and sustainable agriculture”. However, the refuge strategy depends on high expression of the Bt toxins, but as mentioned earlier, this is not the case. Also, Monsanto managed to successfully persuade the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce the size of the non-GM refuge to 10 % instead of 50 % [3]. Now, on top of all that, the crop rotation has been shown insufficient to control the spread of Bt resistance in target pests. Monsanto simply cannot keep claiming that their crops work

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The very things this "technology" was supposed to change it is increasing, except yield. I have wondered from my first hearing of this just what happens to these rootworms once they eat this pesticide and die. They fall to the ground and are eaten by birds or other animals unaware they are filled with toxins. It then passes up the chain as the birds die after eating the worms and then up the chain again as birds are eaten by other predators. The toxic chemicals also run off into streams where they enter the marine system. Wind blown contamination also spreads the toxins to conventional crops and anything else within reach. And now with resistance to these toxins increasing, Monsanto, DOW, Bayer et al come out with the next line of poisons to beat the resistance. Planned Obsolescence is in full swing in the big ag industry.

I submit these companies already know the run time of the poisons they first put out and already have the new toxic mixes they will state deal with it in the pipeline before the first set are even put on the market. (Now 24 d based herbicides and Dicamba.) They WANT farmers to see this happening because to them this is a financial success. They will then profit from these farmers having no choice since they are tied to buying their seeds to then buying the next "upgrade" in complementing poisons to then beat the resistance unaware of the damage they are doing not only to the soil but to other species, the entire food chain and ecosystem. That is the one main immorality of the chemical age that was also covered in Silent Spring. You never just hit the "target"- you hit everything else bad AND good.

This is insidious on the most basic moral level. All of these companies and the farmers who defend them for their own selfish reasons are killers of nature. They are also counting on others not understanding just how pervasive this is becoming and just how much damage has been done to the natural world because they want to control it in order to control the profit stream. What I find is most ironic is the US government's open arms acceptance of this in light of their feigned outrage at a chemical attack in Syria. Seems they are really no better in supporting the global poisoning by these companies using "feeding the world" as their false PR slogan. They will feed the world alright... but it will kill you in the long run.

This is an excellent report. I highly recommend reading it all and doing your own research. There is no future in going down the GMO/chemical road. However, there is one silver lining in all of it. NATURE WILL WIN IN THE END. This resistance proves it. Time to begin working with her if we wish to survive on this planet.

BOYCOTT GM POISON. Nature does it best. Always has, always will.

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