Monday, 15 March 2010

Monsanto's failures come as no surprise

Potential for yield declines in GM soybean has already been recorded, along herbicide resistant weeds, so it should really come as no surprise to find that yet another Monsanto genetically modified seed variety is not living up to its advertising hype:

A genetically modified cotton produced by Monsanto is failing to control pests in four Indian states, the company said last week.
The survival of the pink bollworm in Monsanto's Bollgard brand cotton was detected in four of the nine Indian states where the cotton is grown.
A spokesman for the Creve Coeur-based company said it is taking the matter "very seriously" and will continue to monitor the situation with the help of a team of Indian-based experts. The detection has been reported to the Indian Genetic Engineering Committee, the company said.
The cotton is engineered to resist the pink bollworm, a pest that can ruin crops. However, testing was conducted to assess resistance to Cry1Ac, the Bt protein in the crop, and insects were found to be surviving it.

The company said Friday that the resistance could be occurring because the required refuge areas were not planted by farmers and some may have used unapproved Bt cotton seed.
Recently, India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, said the country should be more cautious in adopting genetically modified crops.

* This post is part of the North Coast Voices' effort to keep Monsanto's blog monitor (affectionately known as Mr. Monsanto) in long-term employment.

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