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May 21, 2010

Chinese Study Finds Pest Resistant in BT Cotton Fields

Red mirid bug
Photo: Brisbane Insects
The results of a ten year study of the ecological effects of gene-engineered crops in China were published in Science on 13 May 2010.   The study was conducted by Chinese scientists at the Institute of Plant Protectionwithin the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).

The study, conducted in northern China, concluded that  (Heteroptera: Miridae) have acquired pest status in BT cotton and other crops while increasing their populations.  This occurred at the same time that BT cotton plantings were increasing at a rapid rate.  As cotton farmers switched to BT cotton, they greatly reduced insecticide spraying and this led to the surge in mirid bugs.  It means that BT cotton regions need to adjust their pest management at the agro-landscape level.

The study provides signficant new findings that will be important in developing new pest management studies and solutions.

Photo credit: Red mirid bug courtesy of Brisbane Insects.

For more see: Yanhui Lu, Kongming Wu, Yuying Jiang, Bing Xia, Ping Li, Hongqiang Feng, Kris A. G. Wyckhuys,Yuyuan Guo.  "Mirid Bug Outbreaks in Multiple Crops Correlated with Wide-Scale Adoption of Bt Cotton in China," Science, Vol. 328. no. 5982, pp. 1151 - 1154.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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