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BioTech Cotton Proves To Eradicate The Pink Bollworm From Continental U.S. And Mexico

For over a century, the pink bollworm moth has terrorized cotton farms across the United States. Millions of dollars have been spent in an effort to counter the global pest, but thanks to a recent breakthrough, cotton farmers will no longer have to worry about the bollworm.

BioTech cotton involves a strategy that combines genetically engineered cotton with pest control tactics.

After analyzing computer simulations and 21 years of Arizona field data, BioTech cotton proved to eradicate the pest from the U.S. and Mexico, according to a new study. 

Bruce Tabashnik, a professor in the University of Arizona’s entomology department, led the study. Initially, he did not believe eradication was possible. 

“When it was achieved, by a team, including the cotton growers and scientists, working together carefully, I was elated," Tabashnik said. 

With eradication of the pink bollworm, the use of more than a million pounds of insecticide can now be avoided every year.

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Hunter Brownstein was an intern at KJZZ from 2020 to 2021.