At least transgenic Bt-laden plants is a little bit nicer than spraying
with Bt. My husband found that non-target lepidoptera are dramatically
affected by Bt spraying in Oregon. Whole areas are sprayed to try to stop
gypsey moth invasions. Non only is there an ecological risk/(likelyhood)
that resistant strains of moths will result, but nontarget lepidoptera are
affected, which I think is deplorable. Wiping out natural populations of
lepidoptera could have a negative impact on biocontrol agents such as
insect parasitoids and predators. However, I think of transgenic Bt-laden
plants as a useful short term solution but not a long term one.
Philosophically, I believe that overpopulation of humans and
anthropomorphic impacts is the real long term problem facing agriculture
today. These include not only introduction of foreign insects into our
agriculture areas, but heavy metal pollution, ozone depletion, perhaps
global warming, soil erosion/runoff, pesticide and nitrate/salt
contamination of our ground water, etc. If only Clinton could have known
what "plant stresses" are before he gave his State of the Union address!