GMO Crop Developments- Pest Resistance

Jacob Bunge reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Monsanto Co. and Harvard University scientists have claimed a breakthrough in a yearslong battle against pests that can resist genetically modified crops designed to kill them.

“A new technology allowing for rapid changes to bug-killing proteins could provide a new way to tweak biotech crops like corn and cotton to boost resistance to pests, according to a study published by the scientists Wednesday.

It is years away from being deployed in farm fields and it’s unclear if such pest-resistant crops would require new regulatory reviews. But if successfully deployed, the technology could restore the value of genetically modified crops that have become less effective in recent years as insect resistance has spread in major crop-growing areas like the U.S. south and India’s cotton fields.”

Mr. Bunge noted that, “U.S. regulators have become increasingly concerned about pest resistance, worrying that farmers may respond with more synthetic chemical insecticides that can be harsher on the environment.

“Some farmers have boosted insecticide purchases and regulators have sought tougher rules on the GMO crops.”

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