Study Finds More Pests Building Resistance to Genetically Modified Foods
(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 14, 2013 ) Sterling, VA -- Many pests are becoming resistant to the more popular types of genetically-modified crops, according to a new study recently released.

The paper looks into the key aspects of the Bt corn and cotton plants that carry a gene specifically created to exude a bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis, which is toxic to insects.

The Publishing of the study was found in the Nature Biotechnology journal, and stated the United States and French researchers have poured over the findings from 77 studies to create conclusions regarding the data. The studies spanned eight countries and five continents that reported the data from basic field monitors.

Of the pests examined, 13 of them were focused on specifically, and five were found to be resistant to the compound by 2011. That is a four-fold increase since 2005, when only one pest had created a resistance.

Three of the pests were found to be cotton pests, while two were corn pests. Three of the five were found in the United States. The country currently accounts for 50% of the Bt crop planting. South Africa and India are the two other large utilizers of the crop types.

There was not a uniformity in the resistances developed in the differing pests. One case saw the insect develop a resistance in two years, while another remained to be victimized by the bacteria until 2011 (after 15 years).

Authors concluded the difference was based upon whether the farmers set aside specific and sufficient refuges on the land for other crops that did not utilize the anti-pest compound.

The concept of the refuges is taken directly from evolutionary biology. The genes that confer resistance are recessive in beings, and that translates to insects surviving on Bt plants only if they can gain two copies of the resistance gene. Thus, planting a refuge near Bt crops will create a reduction in opportunity for two restraint-holding parents to propagate spawn.

Computer models showed that refuges should be good for delaying resistance, study coauthor Yves Carriere, an entomologist at the University of Arizona at Tucson, said in a press release.

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