A non-chemical alternative for controlling insect pests, weeds and crop diseases may be available soon.

An egg white protein called avidin can give corn insect resistance that lasts from the field to the storage bin. Unlike chemical insecticides that can be washed off by rain or inactivated by ultraviolet rays, avidin works regardless of the weather. Avidin produces a vitamin deficiency in feeding insects that leads to stunted growth and death.

ProdiGene produces transgenic corn with avidin but will require FDA risk assessment before being approved for food or feed.