Monsanto stops Bt GMO soybean launch in U.S.
Published: June 7, 2018
Category: GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Monsanto has halted indefinitely introduction of Intacta 2 Xtend soybeans to U.S. farmers—a second-generation product boasting multiple genetically modified Bt proteins and tolerance to dicamba. The company cites a “lack of product demand from growers” but entomologists suggested insect resistance is the more probable reason.
First-generation Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans, with their single Bt protein Cry1Ac, were introduced in South America in 2013. Monsanto hoped to introduce Intacta 2 Xtend to southern U.S. farmers to handle significant soybean looper and soybean podworm populations—but both insects are already resistant to pyrethroid insecticides and one to diamide insecticides.
The Intacta 2 proteins—Cry1Ac, Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2—are widely used in U.S. Bt corn and cotton; they are already “compromised by insect resistance” in this country. The Cry1A.105’s similarity to other Cry1 proteins will likely lead to cross resistance, lessening its effectiveness on bollworms.
While Intacta RR2 PRO is performing well in South America—jumping from 3 million acres in 2014 to about 60 million in 2018—“it’s only a matter of time for pest resistance with the number of insect generations there,” said Monsanto’s South American corn and soybean lead Mark Kidnie. Monsanto intends to launch Intacta 2 Xtend in South America in 2021.
“At this point…we’re waiting on…someone to get some unique [insect-resistant] genes into soybeans that we don’t have in corn and cotton already,” said Mississippi State entomologist Angus Catchot. Monsanto is working now on a third-generation Intacta 3.
Source: DTN/Progressive Farmer
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