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HONG KONG (Reuters) - A once minor pest has ravaged fruit orchards and cotton fields in China after farmers stopped spraying insecticide in crops of a genetically-modified type of cotton resistant to bollworms, experts said.

China started growing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton in 1997 because it gave better yields and stood up to bollworms, but a key fallout has been a thriving population of mirid bugs, which were earlier just an insignificant pest.

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