Biopesticides: Killer Bugs for Hire

Firms breed insects to attack crop-destroying pests
Mighty Mite (left) and Wicked Wasp Illustration by Gerald Leung

The global crop-protection industry is dominated by agrochemical companies such as Syngenta, Monsanto, and Bayer CropScience. It’s also dominated by awesome, crime-fighting bugs (note: that is not the technical term). With U.S. and European Union regulators, not to mention supermarket chains, toughening their stance against traditional pesticides, Basel-based Syngenta is now breeding and selling fly-munching mites, caterpillar-killing wasps, and “premium quality” bees in bulk to help farmers find chemical-free solutions to crop damage.

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