Rootworms may be developing resistance to Monsanto's genetically engineered corn, which includes an insecticide to kill such pests, reports Bloomberg. A memo issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency says such resistance has emerged in four states in the Midwest, and that the ag-bio company's resistance-monitoring program is "inadequate." Monsanto tells Bloomberg that resistance to its Bt corn has not been confirmed, and that farmers with damaged crops should make changes, like rotating corn with soybeans or using Monsanto's SmartStax corn, which includes two types of Bt, to "stay ahead of this insect."
The memo "does throw a harsher light on the longer-term efficacy of the trait," Chris Shaw, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co., tells Bloomberg. Shaw says Monsanto's development of SmartStax indicates that the company knows "it can't rely on a single gene to address farmers' problems," Bloomberg adds.