Beetles, gnats defeated American biotechnology

American agronomists and scientists, biotechnologists are sounding the alarm. Beetles kukuruzoedy evolved and were able to eat genetically modified corn, which before them was toxic

Three-quarters of all corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Since 1996, it actively use American farmers, and its main advantage - resistance to drought, as well as secreted plant poison that acts only on bugs pests, one of which is kukuruzoedy (diabrotica) subfamily of gnats (galerucinae) - distant relatives Colorado beetles.

This venom is harmless to humans and is a special proteins, which when released into the digestive system of insects form a special toxin that paralyzes her work, resulting in transgenic corn eaten a bug larvae died of starvation. In this ongoing debate about whether the GMO corn and other products hazardous to human
Introduction of GMO corn has allowed farmers to save about a billion dollars a year on insecticides, however, as reported by Wired, citing a study published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences USA (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), bugs, kukuruzoedy quickly mutated and adapted to poison in GMO corn.

As the author of the study, an entomologist Aaron Gassmann (Aaron Gassmann) from the University of Iowa (Iowa State University), the farmers themselves to blame for their fields with genetically moditsifitsirovannoy corn again proved vulnerable to attack pests. According to the scientist, when planting GMO corn must be left on the sidelines at least 5% of conventional maize varieties that they “took over” kick pests. However, farmers have ignored these requirements, aiming to get more profit, and the bugs were able to adapt to new conditions. Played an important role and that lobbied for mandatory reduction of conventional maize plantings and companies producing GMO corn seeds.

First appearance of the bugs that are resistant to toxins in transgenic maize, became known for one of the fields in Iowa in 2009, but then the scholars regarded it as a local case. But now, according to Gassmann, bugs, kukuruzoedy mutated everywhere.

While it is unlikely that farmers will abandon the genetically modified corn, because it is still toxic to other species of insects, but, as noted by Wired, for salvation from kukuruzoedov would have to use chemistry - insecticides, reducing to zero the relative efficiency and environmental friendliness of GMO maize.
In 2013, in the world under GM crops were given a record area. As the international service of monitoring the application of Agri (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Application, ISAAA), they were planted 175.2 million ha, which is 3% more than in 2012. The U.S. is a leader in the area of ​​transgenic crops (70 million hectares), of which the most popular - corn, soybeans, cotton …

21 March 2014

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