Bt11 Corn

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Bt11 Corn is a variety of Bt Corn made by Northrup King. It is genetically engineered to be European Corn Borer Resistant by producing an insecticidal protein that is naturally made by a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), in every cell of the plant. The Bt protein the corn produces kills lepidopteran insects, including the European corn borer. However, by 2011, pests evolved resistance to Bt.[1] Bt Crops and genetically modified organisms are controversial throughout the world.

Bt11 corn was deregulated in the U.S. in 1995. In 1996, Syngenta commercialized the Bt11 corn, branding it "Agrisure CB."[2]


On July 14, 1995, Northrup King submitted a petition to the USDA to deregulate its corn line Bt11. The USDA published a notice in the Federal Register on September 7, 1995, soliciting public comments with a due date of November 6, 1995. The USDA conducted an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). Bt11 was deregulated on January 18, 1996.

Upon deregulation, APHIS published in the Federal Register:

"Corn line Bt11 has been genetically engineered to contain the cry1A(b) gene from Bacillus thurigiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk), which expresses a delta-endotoxin insecticidal protein known to be effective against certain lepidopteran insects, including ECB. Corn line Bt11 also containes the pat gene isolated from Streptomyces viridochromogenes that encodes a selectable marker, the phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase (PAT) enzyme. When introduced into the plant cell, the PAT enzyme can inactivate glufosinate herbicides. Expression of the introduced genes is controlled by the 35S promoter derived from the plant pathogen cauliflower mosaic virus and a NOS terminator derived from the nopaline synthase gene of Agrobacterium tumefaciens."[3]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011, Accessed September 1, 2011.
  2. Organic Center Presentation.
  3. Federal Register, Vol. 61, No. 19, January 29, 1996.

External resources

External articles