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MIR162 is a variety of genetically engineered Bt corn made by Syngenta. It was deregulated in the United States in 2010. MIR162 is genetically engineered European Corn Borer resistance. It produces 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 around the world.


On September 10, 2007, the USDA received a petition from Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. to deregulate genetically engineered corn transformation event MIR162. The USDA published a notice in the Federal Register on January 13, 2010, soliciting public comments, which were due by March 15, 2010. The USDA conducted an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). MIR-162 was deregulated on April 20, 2010.[2]

The USDA wrote in the Federal Register:

"The MIR162 corn line has been genetically engineered to expres the VIP3Aa20 protein. The VIP3Aa20 gene is based on the sequences from Bacillus thurigiensis, a common soil bacterium. The VIP3Aa20 gene confers a tolerance certain lepidopteran (caterpillar) pests of corn. Expression of the VIP3Aa20 gene is driven by the corn ubiquitin promoter (ZmUbilnt), and uses the terminator sequence from 35S RNA of cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV). MIR162 corn also contains the manA gene from E. coli, which encodes the enzyme phosphomannose isomerase (PMI), and was used only as a selectable marker during transformant selection and confers no other benefits to the transformed corn plant. The manA gene is also driven by the ZmUbilnt promoter, and uses the Nopaline Synthase (NOS) gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens as a terminator sequence...
"A single copy of these genes and other DNA regulatory sequences were introduced into the corn genome with the transformation vector pNOV1300 using disarmed (non-plant pest causing) A. tumefaciens transformation. Plant cells containing the introduced DNA were selected by culturing them in sugar mannose. After the initial transformation, the antibiotic cefotoxime was included in the culture medium to kil any remaining Agrobacterium. Therefore, no part of the plant pest A. tumefaciens remained in Syngenta MIR162 corn due to the transformation method."[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. Federal Register, Vol. 75 No. 75, April 20, 2010.
  3. Federal Register, Vol 75, No 8, January 13, 2010.

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