Monsanto is the world leader in genetically modified crops. The Houston Chronicle reported that their hybrid variety of corn, known as BT corn is now being reinfected by the rootworm.
For those of you who do not know, Genetically modified foods have been making their way into the food chain for the past several years. This variety came out in 2003. The whole purpose for these genetically modified seeds was to allow farmers ‘to bring in bountiful harvests using fewer chemicals because the corn naturally produces a toxin that poisons western corn rootworms. The hybrid was such a swift success that it and similar varieties now account for 65 percent of all US corn acres.’
This hybrid corn was produced by splicing a gene from a soil organism. ‘The Aroian lab at UCSD uses C. elegans to study Bt (bacillus thuringiensis). Bt is related to a species of bacteria that causes food poisoning and also to the bacterium that causes anthrax (bacillus anthracis). Bt kills only very specific species of insects.
Many organic farmers have used Bt for over 50 years as a pesticide to control insects. Bt is also used to control mosquitoes, and other insects that bite and spread disease. And now, genes from Bt is used to modify plants so that the plants produce the Bt toxins and kill insects that try to eat them without any external spraying. ‘ http://www.bt.ucsd.edu/nutshell.html
Now it seems that the rootworm have begun to feast on the Bt corn in parts of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska. (The Houston Chronicle, December 29, 2011) What makes this alarming is that Monsanto thought it was doing the population a favor by genetically modifying the corn to be resistant to bugs, necessitating less pesticide, (forget that this toxin is related to bacteria that causes food poisoning and anthrax) but this genetic engineering has, in fact, led to a more aggressive, formidable bug.
It is interesting to note that ALL GMOs have been banned in Europe. When will the powers that be in America catch on?
Until Next time,