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Genuity SmartStax.jpg
Genuity Smartstax logo
Development Status
Developer: Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences
Currently Available in: Corn
Coming Soon In: Cotton, Soybean, and specialty crops
Introduced to Market: 2009
Herbicide Tolerance: Roundup Ready 2 and Liberty Link
Insect Protection VT Triple Pro and Herculex Xtra
Seed Treatment Acceleron

SmartStax is a brand of genetically modified seed made through a collaboration between Monsanto Company and Dow Chemical Company.[1] It takes advantage of multiple modes of insect protection and herbicide tolerance. SmartStax takes advantage of Yieldgard VT Triple (Monsanto), Herculex Xtra (Dow), RoundUp Ready 2 (Monsanto), and Liberty Link (Dow). The traits included protect against above-ground insects, below-ground insects, and provide broad herbicide tolerance. It is currently available for corn, but cotton, soybean, and specialty crop variations are to be released. Previously, the most genes artificially added to a single plant was three, but Smartstax includes eight.[2] Smartstax also incorporates Monsanto's Acceleron Seed Treatment System which protects against insects at the earliest stages of development. Smartstax is sold under the Genuity (Monsanto) and Mycogen (Dow) brands.

Insect Spectrum[edit]

SmartStax seeds control a broad spectrum of pests which includes larvae of above-ground insects such as European corn borer, black cutworm, southwestern corn borer, corn earworm, fall armyworm, western bean cutworm, and below-ground feeding larvae of western corn rootworm and northern corn rootworm.[3]

Refuge acres[edit]

To prevent or delay insect resistance, growers plant a refuge on their farm. This is an area of non-GM plants where insect can live. These insect will not evolve resistance to GM technology. These refuge acres ensure that rare resistant insects that feed on insect-protected varieties of corn will mate with susceptible insects and slow the development of resistance.[4]

Promotion and branding[edit]

Smartstax corn has been advertised and promoted on television, at farm trade shows, and online as Monsanto has geared up for widespread commercial release. Smartstax is sold under the Genuity Brand by Monsanto and the Mycogen brand by Dow, but both companies have the right to sell it under as many names with as many additional technologies as they wish.

Weed and insect resistance[edit]

Recently, rapid emergence of weeds thought to be resistant to Roundup have been observed. Horseweed, giant ragweed and pigweed, among others have been found growing with crops across the United States.[5][6][7] Insects including corn rootworm and bollworm have also begun showing signs of resistance.[8][9][10][11] In response, Monsanto has continued to develop new products.[12][13] The USDA approves use of Bt crops.[14] Monsanto has denied there is a problem with their product.[15]


  1. ^ Archived from the original on May 25, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Monsanto's SmartStax maize 'to be approved for growth in October' in EU". Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ National Corn Growers Association Archived May 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Invasion of the Superweeds". New York Times. 
  6. ^ "GE Crops Benefit Farmers, But Management Needed to Maintain Effectiveness". The National Academies. 
  7. ^ "Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds". New York Times. 
  8. ^ Gassmann, AJ; Petzold-Maxwell, JL; Keweshan, RS; Dunbar, MW (2011). Meyer, Peter, ed. "Field-evolved resistance to Bt maize by western corn rootworm". PLOS ONE. 6 (7): e22629. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022629. PMC 3146474free to read. PMID 21829470. 
  9. ^ "Bigger Refuges Needed to Delay Pest Resistance to Biotech Corn". Science Daily. 
  10. ^ "First Documented Case Of Pest Resistance To Biotech Cotton". Science Daily. 
  11. ^ "Insects Find Crack In Biotech Corn's Armor". NPR Food Blog. 
  12. ^ "New Disease-Resistant Food Crops Under Development". Science Daily. 
  13. ^ "Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects". Mother Jones. 
  14. ^ "Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S.: Extent of Adoption". United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Memorandum" (PDF). United States Environmental Protection Agency.