Pesticides a Thing of the Past

Pesticides a Thing of the Past

Pesticides may become obsolete as Monsanto and Dow partner to develop new, no-spray crop technology in corn. The agri-giants created this new technology in the wake of Bt insect resistance from a previous attempt at GMO pest control.

This new technology, DvSnf7 dsRNA, will be available in a line of GMO corn seed, SmartStax Pro.  Unlike the previous bid to control pests, this new system involves a means of gene targeting and silencing. This could be an answer to the no-GMO cry as this process ultimately results in actively altering an environment versus invoking a change in the plant itself according to The Atlantic.

This newest breakthrough includes an additional step called RNA interference, RNAi. This added step involves giving crops the information needed to silence genes in detrimental pests. For SmartStax Pro users, this means the end of the western corn rootworm which has been called the ‘billion-dollar bug’ by Monsanto.

This news comes in light of EPA approval as the last of three agencies, FDA and USDA, giving the green light for this technology to surface in agricultural markets.

Monsanto has high hopes for this product claiming crops next in line for this upgrade will have a variety of other benefits as well.

"I would put RNA in the suite of really advanced, next-generation technologies that are adding to the excitement from a research perspective," said Robb Fraley, the Monsanto’s chief technology office.

SmartStax Pro will have a dual edged sword effect offering seed with the new RNAi technology as well as Bt pest management.

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