|Genetically modified corn produces a toxin|
that poisons rootworms, but it might be
losing that ability more rapidly than expected.
ASSOCIATED PRESS, December 2011
Corn has been genetically engineered to contain a gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). That gene codes for a protein. That protein is an endotoxin. Housed in every cell of the genetically engineered Bt corn, it produces the pesticide/endotoxin which is toxic to insects that feed on the corn plant.
The effect of this endotoxin on humans who consume the Bt corn is not well understood because research is sparse. However, we know that the Bt sprays elicit an immune response:
Immune Responses In Farm Workers After Exposure To Bacillus Thuringiensis Pesticides, Environmental Health Perspectives, 1999
And we know that:
"Bt crops have far higher levels of endotoxin in the grain and leaves than do the foliar Bt sprays."How much more?
- Possible Human Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Bt Crops, Michael Hanson PhD of the Consumer Policy Institute/Consumers Union. Presented to the EPA Science Advisory Panel, October 2000
"The Bt-toxin produced in the GM plants is more dangerous than in its natural spray form. The sprayed-on version biodegrades or washes off. Not so with Bt corn. Further, the toxin inside the plant is about 3,000-5,000 times more concentrated than the spray and it is designed to be more toxic than the natural version. In fact, the GM toxin has properties of known allergens and fails all three GM allergy tests recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others."
- Genetically Engineered Corn May Cause Allergies, Infertility, and Disease, JM Smith, 2009