Roundup Ready Corn
Roundup Ready Corn (RR Corn) is genetically engineered corn that has had its DNA modified to withstand the herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup). It is also known as "glyphosate tolerant corn." RR corn was first deregulated in the U.S. in 1997 and first commercialized in the U.S. in 1998. Roundup Ready Crops and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are controversial around the world. One variety of RR Corn, NK603, was linked to tumors in rats by a 2012 study.
Study Links RR Corn to Tumors in Rats
On September 19, 2012, a team led by Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen published a study called "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize" in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The study ran for two years, studying the effects of Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn variety NK603 and/or Roundup herbicide on 200 rats. Only 30% of males and 20% of females in the control group died during the experiment, compared to much higher rates of mortality among treated rats.
"Up to 14 months, no animals in the control groups showed any signs of tumors whilst 10–30% of treated females per group developed tumors, with the exception of one group (33% GMO + R). By the beginning of the 24th month, 50–80% of female animals had developed tumors in all treated groups, with up to 3 tumors per animal, whereas only 30% of controls were affected. The R [Roundup] treatment groups showed the greatest rates of tumor incidence with 80% of animals affected with up to 3 tumors for one female, in each group."
The study found that the first large detectable tumors occurred "at 4 and 7 months into the study in males and females respectively, underlining the inadequacy of the standard 90 day feeding trials for evaluating GM crop and food toxicity (Séralini et al., 2011)." (emphasis added)
For more information on this study, see the article on the NK603 variety of corn.
Roundup Ready Corn Brands and Manufacturers
The following companies sell Roundup Ready corn under the brand names listed below.
- Roundup Ready® Corn GA21
- Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (NK603)
- YieldGard® Corn Borer with Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (MON 810 and NK603)
- YieldGard® Rootworm with Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (MON 863 and NK603)
- YieldGard® Plus with Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (MON 810, MON 863, and NK603)
- YieldGard VT™ Rootworm/RR2® (MON 88017)
- YieldGard VT™ Triple (MON 810 and Mon 88017)
- Genuity™ VT Double PRO™ (Mon89034 and NK603)
- Genuity™ VT Triple PRO™ (Mon89034 and Mon 88017)
- Genuity™SmartStax™ (MON 88017, MON 89034, TC1507, and DAS59122-7)
Dow Agrosciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred:
- Herculex® I Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (TC1507 and NK603)
- Herculex® RW Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (DAS 59122-7 and NK603)
- Herculex® Xtra Roundup® Corn 2 (TC1507, DAS 59122-7, and NK603)
- SmartStax™ (MON 88017, MON 89034, TC1507, and DAS59122-7)
- Optimum® AcreMax® RW Rootworm Protection (DAS 59122-7 and NK603)
- Optimum® AcreMax® Insect Protection (YieldGard Corn Borer, TC1507, and NK603)
- Optimum® AcreMax® Xtra Insect Protection (YieldGard Corn Borer, TC1507, DAS59122-7, and NK603)
- Agrisure® GT (SYTGA21)
- Agrisure® GT/CB/LL (SYTGA21 and Bt11)
- GT/RW (MIR604 and SYTGA21)
- Agrisure® 3000GT (SYTGA21, MIR604, and Bt11)
- 1996: Monsanto introduces the first Roundup Ready crop - Roundup Ready Soybeans
- May 27, 1997: The U.S. deregulates Monsanto's Roundup Ready and European Corn Borer Resistant Corn (MON 802)
- November 18, 1997: The U.S. deregulates Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn GA21
- 1998: Monsanto introduces Roundup Ready Corn (GA21) as well as a corn seed variety with both the Roundup Ready trait and the European corn borer resistance trait.
- September 29, 2000: The U.S. deregulates Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn NK603
- 2001: Monsanto introduces NK603 as "Roundup Ready Corn 2," marketing it as a product that "provides farmers with a wider application window than the first generation Roundup Ready Corn technology."
- 2003: Monsanto introduces "YieldGard Rootworm insect-protected corn stacked with Roundup Ready Corn 2." (MON 863 and NK603)
- 2005: Monsanto introduces "YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2." (MON 810, MON 863, and NK603)
- December 14, 2005: The U.S. deregulates Monsanto's Corn Rootworm Resistant and Roundup Ready Corn variety MON 88017
- December 9, 2009: U.S. deregulates Pioneer Hi-Bred's Roundup Ready and Imidazolinone Tolerant Corn, Corn Line 98140
- 2010: Monsanto releases a new line of products called Genuity, including several varieties of Roundup Ready Corn, and both Monsanto and Dow introduce a Roundup Ready product called "SmartStax."
As of 2012, the USDA is evaluating petitions to deregulate the following glyphosate tolerant corn varieties:
- Stine Seed: Glyphosate Tolerant Corn, HCEM485
- Monsanto: Tissue-selective Glyphosate Tolerant Corn, Event MON-87427-7
- Genective: Glyphosate Tolerant Corn
Adoption Rates in the U.S.
Following the introduction of Roundup Ready corn, its adoption by U.S. farmers grew. The USDA offers data on the percent of corn in the U.S. that is herbicide tolerant between 2000 and 2012:
- 2000: 7%
- 2001: 8%
- 2002: 11%
- 2003: 15%
- 2004: 20%
- 2005: 26%
- 2006: 36%
- 2007: 52%
- 2008: 63%
- 2009: 68%
- 2010: 70%
- 2011: 72%
- 2012: 73%
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize," Food and Chemical Toxicology, Available online September 19, 2012.
- ↑ A Compendium of Biotech Corn Traits, Purdue University, Accessed August 12, 2012.
- ↑ Optimum AcreMax, Accessed August 13, 2012.
- ↑ Determinations of Non-Regulated Status, USDA, Accessed August 9, 2012.
- ↑ Monsanto Company History, Accessed August 12, 2012.
- ↑ Monsanto Company History, Accessed August 12, 2012.
- ↑ Petitions for Nonregulated Status Pending, USDA, Accessed August 9, 2012.
- ↑ 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.
- Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize," Food and Chemical Toxicology, Available online September 19, 2012.
- Andy Bloxham, Toxic pesticides from GM food crops found in unborn babies, The Telegraph, May 20, 2011.
- Is there more to the story on GMOs?, Howard Vlieger, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.