GM crops – The rise of the immune pests

By 21. June 2013Blog, Risk Management

Farmers beware! 5 out of 13 key insect species have become immune to Bt, the built-in pesticide expressed by GM corn and cotton. That is the startling message from a paper published in Nature reported last week in the New Scientist magazine (June 15th 2013, Page 8-9).

However, the head author of the publication, Prof. Tabashnik has turned this on its head and says that the fact 8 out of the 13 key species are still susceptible after 400 million hectares have been planted worldwide since 1996 is pretty good going.

One damning result that came from the paper was that resistance was developing in places where farmers were failing to implement the recommended procedures to stop insect resistance from developing.

The paper is published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.