June 17, 2018

The Billion Dollar Bug, Indeed


“That which the borer has left, the earworm has eaten; and that which the earworm has left, the rootworm has eaten…”
The treadmill of planned obsolescence continues. The goal, as proven by the corporate state’s pattern of action, is to cause insect resistance to pesticides to evolve ever faster, to provide a rationale for the ever faster development of ever more complex GMO/pesticide packages. The real purpose of this technological deployment, beyond mundane profit motives, is control, war, and the total destruction of the ecology.
All prior anti-rootworm Bt GMOs are admitted failures. Rootworm now resists them all. Monsanto’s “SmartStax Pro” AKA “Corn Rootworm III” (MON 87411), currently in development, is the next GMO “solution” being touted for rootworm control. SS Pro is being developed with the RNA interference mode. RNAi is simply a more aggressive gene driving attack on the ecology than the regular GM contamination already driving its toxic genetics.* As for pest control, this is the exact same product as prior insecticidal GMOs and will fail just as quickly in the exact same way.
The piece GMWatch links, a pro-poison outlet, admits that all GMOs are a failure and that farmers have to spray just as much as before, as well as rotate crops and observe insects in the field (what radical ideas, those last two). A neutral observer might think they should admit that the pesticide paradigm is a proven failure. A neutral observer might think they have an ulterior motive for continuing to shill for pesticides even as they admit pesticides don’t work. Rootworm is indeed a “billion dollar bug” for Monsanto, Syngenta, and Dow.
Today most Bt GM seed in the US is sold in the form of a “refuge in a bag” (RIB). This means that non-GM seed is scattered in among the bulk of GM seed. RIB abrogates the entire notion of non-Bt “refuges”, which already were a propaganda scam in the first place.** The fact that the EPA lowered the percentage requirement from 20% for discrete “structured” refuges (entomologists originally insisted that at least 50% was necessary, but were bought off at 20%) to 5% for the diffused “RIB” shows their twisted sense of humor. To make the joke complete, they should have lowered the RIB to 0%. It would be just as effective. This is further proof that the pesticide arms race is an intentionally escalating planned failure.
*All GMOs have unstable genomes riddled with mutations, and almost all are driven by the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter which has a recombination hot-spot. For both of these reasons GMOs are more likely to be vectors of horizontal gene transfer than natural plants and are more aggressive in this transfer, forcing their alien genetics into any available place including the genomes of animals that eat them. Therefore every GMO is inherently a gene drive agent and seeks to force its brutish promoter-amplified alien nucleic acids into every possible organism: Related plants and plant-eating animals. Every GMO is a cancer agent in a precise sense, just as each is a cancer cell from the perspective of the ecosystem as a whole. GMOs are cancer amid the ecosystem, and they seek to sow cancer within individual animals. In this way they work to weaken animal populations from below, while gross ecocide exterminates them from above.
**The pesticide treadmill of planned, deliberate obsolescence gives the lie to the whole notion of “refugia”, which are stands of non-Bt corn which the EPA and similar regulators in other countries require poison farmers to set aside. The idea is supposed to be that the non-Bt stand provides a “refuge” for insects without innate resistance to survive and interbreed with the naturally resistant ones who have survived feeding on the Bt crop. Their offspring will be less likely to inherit the resistance trait, and therefore the overall conversion of the pest population to a resistant variety is supposed to be delayed.
As we see, the theoretical setting aside of refuges has done little to halt the march of Bt-resistant rootworms and other resistant insects. Refuges were really a political scam in the first place. Neither the EPA nor regulators in other countries enforce them, nor were refuges ever supposed to be enforced. The idea of the refuge, as a way for regulators and corporations to reassure skeptics that the product will work, always had more significance then the real world application.
This is proven by the fact that, in the same way that regulators set allowable pesticide levels in water and food, not according to public health or any other scientific measure, but simply according to whatever level will result from the amount of pesticides corporations need to sell and farmers are driven to spray, so the refuge percentages aren’t set according to any scientific measure, but according to the lowest politically justifiable level.
Therefore although USDA entomologists recommended 50% refuge planting if the policy was supposed to have any chance of being effective, the EPA originally set the requirement at 20% for single and then double trait Bt poison crops. Needless to say Monsanto originally opposed the refuge concept as such and has always lobbied for the lowest possible level. The EPA was happy to accept the cartel’s argument that stacked varieties, by incorporating multiple poisons, would attack target insects so many ways at once that the 20% refuge was no longer necessary and could be reduced to 5%. This “reduced refuge” requirement was inaugurated with SmartStax corn in 2009, and we have indeed seen rapid results where it’s come to the evolution of rootworm resistance. RIB has further accelerated the arms race.

%d bloggers like this: