Dominic Reisig is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University. He holds statewide extension responsibility for entomology of field crops in North Carolina. His research program centers around Bt, which has changed the field crop landscape for insects. Caterpillars from the genus Helicoverpa are major pests worldwide, partially managed with Bt in some crops and insecticides in others. His lab is focused on the ecology of this insect. Furthermore, piercing sucking insect pests, such as thrips and stink bugs have emerged as major pests worldwide and especially in North Carolina. Insecticide sprays have been reduced in Bt crops, releasing these insects that are unaffected by the Bt toxins. His research focuses on these pests, as well as a new invasive piercing sucking insect pest of soybeans, Megacopta cribraria.
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Q: Are GMOs contributing to the death of bees and butterflies? -- Submitted as Part of GMO Answers' Top Consumer Questions Survey --
Posted On: Wednesday, 5/21/2014 11:42 am
Answered By: Dominic Reisig, Extension Specialist & Assistant Professor of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Wednesday, 5/21/2014 11:56 am
A: GMOs are not contributing to the death of non-pest species of butterflies. Some types of Bt proteins are purposefully targeted to kill particular moth and butterfly species. These Bt proteins can be produced by plants when they are genetically modified. However, this targeting is intentionally aimed for moth or butterfly pest species that would be killed using insecticide sprays if Bt were not used. Bt proteins are very specific in this regard. Some non-pest... Continue Reading
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