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.
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.
- May 17, 1995: Event 176, Ciba Seeds
- August 22, 1995: MON 80100, Monsanto
- March 15, 1996: MON 809 and MON 810, Monsanto
- July 24, 2008: MON 89034, Monsanto
- April 20, 2010: MIR-162, Syngenta
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
- October 8, 2002: Corn Rootworm Resistant Corn (MON 863), Monsanto
- March 16, 2007: Corn Rootworm Protected Corn (MIR604), Syngenta
"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:
- January 18, 1996: Glufosinate Tolerant European Corn Borer Resistant Corn (Bt11), Northrup King
- March 28, 1997: Glufosinate Tolerant European Corn Borer Resistant Corn (DBT418), DeKalb (Monsanto)
- May 27, 1997: Roundup Ready and European Corn Borer Resistant Corn (MON 802), Monsanto
- May 8, 1998: Glufosinate Tolerant and European Corn Borer Resistant Corn (CBH-351), AgrEvo
- June 14, 2001: Lepidopteran Resistant Glufosinate Tolerant Corn (TC1507), Mycogen c/o Dow & Pioneer
- October 20, 2004: Lepidopteran Resistant & Glufosinate Tolerant Corn (TC-6275), Mycogen and Dow
- September 23, 2005: Glufosinate Tolerant Corn Rootworm Resistant Corn, (DAS-59122-7), Mycogen Seeds/Dow AgroSciences LLC and Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. (DuPont)
- December 14, 2005: Corn Rootworm Resistant and Roundup Ready Corn (MON 88017), Monsanto
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:
- 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
- GE Corn
- GMO Policies by Country
- Herbicide Tolerant Crops
- Bacillus thuringiensis
- Bt-Resistant Insects
- Genetically Modified Organisms
- Pioneer Hi-Bred
- MON 810
- MON 809
- Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011, Accessed September 1, 2011.
- Genetically engineered varieties of corn, upland cotton, and soybeans, by State and for the Unites States, 2000-12, USDA ERS.
- Know Before You Grow, National Corn Growers Association.
- A Compendium of Biotech Corn Traits, Purdue University.
- GM Crop Database, Center for Environmental Risk Assessment
- Overview of GMO Events Commercially Available and Regulatory Status
- Novel Food Decisions - Approved Products, Health Canada.
- Charles Benbrook, "Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years" and Supplemental Tables, The Organic Center, 2009.
- "Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops," Union of Concerned Scientists, 2009.
- G. Chandrashekhar, "Monsanto hopes India will clear Bt corn in 3 years," The Hindu, September 10, 2011.
- Stephanie Bodoni, "French ban of modified maize dealt blow in court: Monsanto, 10 other companies, challenged action," STLToday.com, September 10, 2011.
- Jack Kaskey, "Monsanto Corn Falls to Illinois Bugs as Investigation Widens," Bloomberg, September 2, 2011.
- Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011.
- Associated Press, "Monsanto shares slip on bug-resistant corn woes," Forbes, August 29, 2011.
- Scott Kilman, "Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance," Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2011.
- Dan Piller, "Beetle resistance reported to Monsanto BT corn," Des Moines Register, August 28, 2011.
- Mike Gray, "Severe root damage to Bt corn confirmed in northwestern Illinois," Aces News, August 24, 2011.
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