Genetically Engineered Corn

Leigh lh at pressroom.com
Sat Mar 23 23:02:10 EST 2002


OK,  let's think about this for a second. Spraying bt on your corn, 
or on your cabbage is a different thing completely than corn or 
cabbage that has bt as part of its genetic makeup.  Sure, Bt sprayed 
on a crop is reasonable benign.  When I have cabbage loopers I spray 
bt, it inhibits growth, kills the caterpillar. It saves my cabbage 
crop.  The bt breaks down, is gone.  Someone eats the cabbage, 
there's no bt.

However, this isn't the case with genetically manipulated corn. The 
bt is always there, Its there when the plant's growing, its there in 
the corn, Its there in the stalk that's turned back into the ground 
(assuming the bt is a sweet corn).

This brings up a whole set of potential problems that bt used as a 
topical insecticide doesn't have.

But beside the allergies, if they exist, my real problem with bt corn 
is the small minded, short term profit seeking of the company that is 
making it.  Bt is a very useful solution to caterpillar damage. 
However, by inserting Bt genes into corn the scientist that did it, 
and they company that markets it knows (its in their literature) that 
this will create bt resistant caterpillars.  They know (and its in 
their literature), that within several decades (if not sooner) there 
will be bt resistant insects.  That by creating and marketing bt corn 
the company is making a short term profit at the expense of the long 
term effectiveness of bt.

And finally, I find farmers that are growing this crop as either 
woefully uninformed (meaning, they actually believe seed salesman 
when they tell them a line) or they are knowledgeable and therefore 
irresponsible by ruining this effective insecticide for farmers of 
the future.

That is the real issue here.
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