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Fulton reports: "Brazilian farmers say their GMO corn is no longer resistant to pests, Reuters reported Monday."

Farmers want compensation for additional spraying cost. (Photo: Dricker94/flckr)
Farmers want compensation for additional spraying cost. (Photo: Dricker94/flckr)

Brazil Farmers Say GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Bugs

By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams

30 July 14


Farm lobby group calls on Monsanto and other biotech companies to reimburse for additional pesticide treatments

razilian farmers say their GMO corn is no longer resistant to pests, Reuters reported Monday.

The Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of the Mato Grosso region said farmers first noticed in March that their genetically modified corn crops were less resistant to the destructive caterpillars that "Bt corn" — which has been genetically modified to produce a toxin that repels certain pests — is supposed to protect against. In turn, farmers have been forced to apply extra coats of insecticides, racking up additional environmental and financial costs.

The association, which goes by the name Aprosoja-MT, is calling on Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and Dow companies to offer solutions as well as compensate the farmers for their losses. In a release posted to the Aprosoja-MT website, spokesman Ricardo Tomcyzk said farmers spent the equivalent of $54 per hectare to spray extra pesticides, and that the biotech companies promised something they didn't deliver, "i.e. deceptive advertising." (via Google Translate)

But Monsanto, et al are unlikely to accommodate the farmers. According to Reuters, "seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds."

Earlier this year, a similar problem arose in the U.S., when scientists confirmed that corn-destroying rootworms had evolved to be resistant to the GMO corn engineered to kill them.

The industry response to such loss of efficacy is not to encourage biodiversity, but to further modify the organisms, according to the non-profit GM Watch.

The case of Brazil is an example for an overall trend showing that nearly twenty years after the start of commercialization of Bt crops, there are problems in several countries growing this kind of genetically engineered crop. Industry tries to tackle this issue by commercialization of so called "stacked events" that produce several different Bt toxins. The best known example is Monsanto's SmartStax maize that produces six different Bt toxins.

Another unintended outcome is almost certainly an increased use of pesticides, as has already happened in Mato Grosso. your social media marketing partner


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+23 # Buddha 2014-07-30 09:02
As has been shown over and over, the entire process of "pesticide" treatment of crops is long-term counter-product ive. Proper organic farming with wise scientifically- directed crop-rotation works far better giving higher yields over the long-term than needing to spray ecologically-ha rmful pesticides on those crops and constantly using chemical fertilizers to boost yields. Like so much else (ie, energy policy), what is needed is a change in the paradigm, not just more band-aids slapped on a completely wrong process.
+5 # pbbrodie 2014-07-30 10:25
Excellent post, except it would be even better if you could provide sources for the claim that process of pesticide treatment being counter productive. I believe that it is counterproducti ve but sources would still still be better, as well as sources for better results from organic farming.
+10 # BrainiacV 2014-07-30 11:17
Basic biology folks! If the plant kills the pests, only the pests it doesn't kill reproduce! Same applies for weeds! With that must biomass available, something will evolve to eat it.
+9 # Small Family Farmer 2014-07-30 11:39
Indeed BrainiacV, seems that once someone puts the initials "PhD" in Life Sciences after their name something strange happens. It seems they lose their memory of all the information they were given during their undergraduate biology classes.
+4 # BrainiacV 2014-07-30 12:28
I'm sorry, that was from junior high school!

But, yes, I agree with you, somewhere along the way they forgot to look up from what they were doing.
+8 # beachboy 2014-07-30 11:37
Read Vandana Shiva, and all aspects of GMO insanity will become clear.- 6 toxins for bugs in a cob of corn...nourishm ent for my body and soul??...yummie e!...hmmmmm...t o jail with them!
+6 # PeacefulGarden 2014-07-30 12:58
Well this is right up my alley! Indeed, eventually evolution kicks on, and the survivors devour the rank and file corn. Any domesticated biology is going to be easy prey for the brut force insect world or fungi world. Suprising, Monsanto hasn't figured out the "non-diversifie d" rank and file thingy.

My screen name is a joke. There is nothing peaceful about a garden. I am sure the posters on this web page know that under, above, and inside a garden is a world of spieces battling for anything it can digest as energy to reproduce. That being said, the moment in history when we started farming is the original sin that created corporations like Monsanto. We, they, humans, up the severity of pesticide because of our greed for over-abundance.

Anyone who grows grapes knows the consequence of leaving too many grape clusters on the vine; 3 million years of evolution that created fungi that will destroy your vines in one night- And there is nothing you can do about it, no treatment, nothing can compete with fungi.

It is greed, it always is, and yeah, Monsanto has dollars signs in its eyes; cause corporations are people too.

I would imagine it is a corporate CEO (with no scientific background, most likely fianancial background) of Monsanto who leads a set of scientists, and I can only imagine the magic they must produce for him or her.

Could you imagine working for a company like Monsanto??

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