MON 89034 is genetically engineered for European Corn Borer resistance. It produces an insecticidal protein that is naturally made by a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), in every cell of the plant. The Bt protein the corn produces kills lepidopteran insects, including the European corn borer. However, by 2011, pests evolved resistance to Bt. Bt corn and genetically modified organisms are controversial around the world.
On October 26, 2006, Monsanto submitted a petition to the USDA seeking to deregulate the genetically engineered corn event MON 89034. The USDA requested more information, and Monsanto responded with an addendum to its petition on January 23, 2007. The USDA conducted an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). MON 89034 was deregulated on July 24, 2008.
The USDA wrote in the Federal at the time of deregulation:
- "Corn transformation event MON 89034 has been genetically engineered to express the transgenes cry1A.105 and cry2Ab2, both of which were derived from a well-characterized gene sequence from Bacillus thurigiensis, and encode insect control proteins. The neomycin phosphotransferase (nptII) gene was used as a selectable marker, but was eliminated by traditional breeding methods in the later stages of development of MON 89034. Thus, MON 89034 contains only the cry1A.105 and cry2Ab2 expression cassettes. Expression of the transgenes by corn plants renders the corn line resistant to European corn borer, as well as other lepidopteran pests. Regulatory elements for the transgenes were obtained from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. These regulatory sequences are not transcribed and do not encode proteins. The DNA was introduced into corn cells using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation methodology with the T-DNA binary transformation vector designated PV ZMIR245."
In 2010, Monsanto commercialized its MON 89034 line of Bt corn, branding it "Genuity™ VT Double PRO™." When sold as Genuity™ VT Double PRO™, the seed also contains the NK603 Roundup Ready trait.
MON 89034 is sold in several "stacked" products (corn seeds with many genetically engineered traits combined into them):
- Genuity® VT-Triple Pro™: A corn seed that includes MON 89034 and MON 88017
- Genuity™ SmartStax™: A corn seed jointly created by Monsanto and Dow combining the lines MON 88017, MON 89034, TC1507, and DAS 59122-7 into one genetically engineered corn. Monsanto sold it as Genuity™ SmartStax™ and Dow Agrosciences sold it as SmartStax™.
- Seminis Performance Series Sweet Corn: A sweet corn seed that combines MON 89034 and MON 88017.
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- GE Corn
- GMO Policies by Country
- Herbicide Tolerant Crops
- Bacillus thuringiensis
- Bt-Resistant Insects
- Genetically Modified Organisms
- MON 810
- MON 809
- Safety Summaries for Monsanto's Breeding Stack Products, Accessed August 11, 2012.
- Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011, Accessed September 1, 2011.
- Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 143, July 24, 2008.
- Product Safety Summaries of Stacked Products, Monsanto, Accessed August 11, 2012.
- "Monsanto Launches Genuity™ to Simplify Farmer Decision-Making for Technology Traits," Monsanto press release, February 26, 2009.
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- Jack Kaskey, "Monsanto Corn Falls to Illinois Bugs as Investigation Widens," Bloomberg, September 2, 2011.
- Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011.
- Associated Press, "Monsanto shares slip on bug-resistant corn woes," Forbes, August 29, 2011.
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