Though biotech companies like Monsanto spent many millions creating and inserting genes that would make corn plants poisonous to the corn rootworm but harmless to other creatures, the pest has begun to develop an immunity.
Though the use of chemical pesticides has always been a source of contention, the advent of corn hybrid plants by biotech companies like Monsanto allowed farmers to cut back on their use. These new hybrids had been specifically designed using genes from a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which provided a formidable defense against corn rootworm.
Throughout parts of the midwest, however, farmers are now discovering rootworms that are immune to the genetically modified corn. In parts of Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska, where rootworm has made a comeback, farmers have now returned to using chemical pesticides.
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