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Scott Kilman reports: "Widely grown corn plants that Monsanto Co. genetically modified to thwart a voracious bug are falling prey to that very pest in a few Iowa fields, the first time a major Midwest scourge has developed resistance to a genetically modified crop. The discovery raises concerns that the way some farmers are using biotech crops could spawn superbugs."

This corn earworm eats the corn at the silk end of the ear. (photo: Alan King/flickr)
This corn earworm eats the corn at the silk end of the ear. (photo: Alan King/flickr)

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+15 # Bob-Investigates 2011-08-30 23:57
Let's see---we have a very visible insect on the corn plants. Seems to me you could come up with a MECHANICAL solution---hire out-of-work people to walk through the fields and pick off the little vermin into a jar. What if a worker simply walked down the rows with a hand-held vacuum? It reminds me of why there are virtually no rattlesnakes in Ohio---they were all killed-off so none around to reproduce! Messing with nature (GMO) usually just causes more problems than it cures. SOMEONE with an inventive mind (probably not at Monsanto or competitors,jus t might come up with an inexpensive solution that doesn't involve GMO or some gawd-awful chemicals. Unfortunately, humans often go for the seemingly easy way, when there just might be a smarter, less toxic way to defeat the insects. Purple Martins? An Amish farmer I know has perfect blueberries because he got some cheap netting and now nothing can get to his blueberries. He had a huge crop this summer. He also protects other crops with netting. NO chemicals, NO GMO.
+3 # punk 2011-08-31 01:58
havent read article. 4am. must sleep. just writing to say that this relates to the recent wikileaks [which WL says was not even leaked by them, but by some MS media-hints at NYTimes or der speigel.

here's article on usa pushing GE crops in euro/asia/africa/s.america:
+5 # Charlie Peters 2011-08-31 02:15
Will the genetically modified (GM) corn fuel ethanol welfare, for Big oil refiners and Government Motors, affect the beef?
+23 # abby in N.H. 2011-08-31 05:16
Monsanto is EVIL.
+7 # Oak1 2011-08-31 08:05
The development of resistance to corn rootworm shows that a technology is very vulnerable to basic principles of of agro-ecology. Crop rotation is essential. Gm crops are the biological equivalent of the newest super pesticide which never really worked.
It's very disappointing when you show a picture of a corn earworm in an article about corn rootworm. They are very different critters and require different approaches to control Please proofread your articles or hire a science editor. Note that this lead to confusion about control strategies by readers.
+2 # Glen 2011-08-31 12:40
Quite right, Oak1. I hardly glanced at the larva pictured, and proceeded with the rootworm in mind. Under the photo of the larva in the photo above it does state that it is an earworm. Readers would be better informed if the beetles and moths were also shown, rather than just the larvae. Rootworm larvae are white.
+16 # Glen 2011-08-31 08:37
I have seen these worms in my own small corn crop for the first time. Not only is there manipulation in farm crops, but apparently misleading labeling in individual packages of corn, and who knows what else.

One method of avoiding these issues with these monster companies is stick close to home and buy heritage seeds. Large farmers worldwide are being screwed out of their long time practice of saving seeds, meaning they will be forced to buy these "frankenseeds".
+5 # fredboy 2011-08-31 12:40
This is just the start. Years of fertilizer runoff into Florida waters is producing the stuff of monster movies: dangerous bacteria. And many neighborhoods are -- hang on -- using it for irrigation, thus spraying the bacteria into the air. Yep, this is one of the most dangerous ways to "ingest" it. Gulf beachfronts are teeming with resulting bacteria.

It is interesting that humankind's screwups may result in the most dire threats from some of the tiniest, truly lethal organisms. Warn your friends.
+1 # Glen 2011-09-01 09:52
I wish more folks as yourself would report on these issues in their own states. I grew up in Miami and lament the loss of that particular paradise. Florida was a jewel, and your information increases that lamentation for the entire state.
+7 # jerryball 2011-09-01 15:19
I knew it was just a matter of time before Frankinfoods would bite us in the a$$. And Monsanto is giving the stink-eye and sueing farmers who are unfortunate to have the Monsanto Frankinseeds migrate to their fields. They are being sued for royalties for their entire crop even though there are a few Frankenfood plants that migrated to their fields. Dr. Frankenstein wins, and we end up with more toxic sprays on our food. How does one sue this too big to fail monster that will mutate us all?
+4 # BobHG 2011-09-01 19:47
Well, what a surprise. The corporatocracy has spread its toxicity not only around the world, in a vain attempt to control the world's food supplies without so much as a safety test, and with the collusion of the Rockefeller Foundation, GATT and the World Bank in the interests of "free trade", but has now polluted its own back yard. Read "William Engdahl's disturbing "Seeds of Destruction" for the full story. The world will suffer the after-effects of this piece of agricultural imperialism for centuries to come. The Monsanto crops were developed to be used in conjunction with Monsanto-suppli ed chemicals which were designed to kill the bugs, but not the plants.

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