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Bt Corn

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Bt Corn is corn that has been genetically engineered to produce a Bt toxin, a toxin that is naturally made by a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt for short), in every cell of the plant. The GE corn variety is used to kill corn pests. However, by 2011, pests evolved resistance to Bt.[1]

Varieties in the United States

European Corn Borer Resistant Corn

One variety of Bt Corn is intended to produce an insecticide in every cell of the plant that kills the European corn borer. The insecticide is produced using a gene from the bacteria Bacillus thurigiensis, which also produces an insecticidal protein effective against European corn borers. For more information, see the article on European Corn Borer Resistant Corn.

Corn Rootworm Resistant Corn

Another variety of Bt corn is intended to produce an insecticide in every cell of the plant that kills the Corn Rootworm. The insecticide is produced using a gene from the bacteria Bacillus thurigiensis, which also produces an insecticidal protein effective against corn rootworms. For more information, see the article on Corn Rootworm Resistant Corn

"Stacked Trait" Varieties

Varieties with more than one trait genetically engineered into them are referred to as "stacked" trait varieties. Stacked trait variety with a Bt trait include:

Adoption Rates in the U.S.

Following the introduction of Bt corn, its adoption by U.S. farmers grew. The USDA offers data on the percent of corn in the U.S. that is Bt corn between 2000 and 2012:[2]

  • 2000: 19%
  • 2001: 19%
  • 2002: 24%
  • 2003: 29%
  • 2004: 33%
  • 2005: 35%
  • 2006: 40%
  • 2007: 49%
  • 2008: 57%
  • 2009: 63%
  • 2010: 63%
  • 2011: 65%
  • 2012: 67%

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011, Accessed September 1, 2011.
  2. Genetically engineered varieties of corn, upland cotton, and soybeans, by State and for the Unites States, 2000-12, USDA ERS.

External resources

External articles

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