[NAFEX] chemical vs organic [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Kevin Moore aleguy33 at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 18 17:58:39 EDT 2009


Odd that. I've never seen the toxin for sale, just the live organism.




________________________________
From: Melissa Kacalanos <mijwiz at yahoo.com>
To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:33:56 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] chemical vs organic [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]


Just to be nitpicky, the name "Bt" as used by farmers is shorthand for "Bt toxin" which is short for "Bacillus thuringiensis toxin." The bacterium makes a protein which is toxic to certain insects. It's "toxic" because it binds to a particular protein in the guts of the larvae of some insects and prevents them from functioning properly. If your gut doesn't have that protein that's succeptible to Bt, Bt is not toxic to you. Farmers generally spray the protein, not the bacteria themselves.

Nowadays, some crops have been genetically modified to express this protein themselves, no spraying required.

Of course, insects are evolving resistance to Bt anyway, so both the spray and the transgenic crops will work for only a limited time.

Melissa


--- On Tue, 6/16/09, Kevin Moore <aleguy33 at yahoo.com> wrote:


From: Kevin Moore <aleguy33 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] chemical vs organic [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
To: dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com, "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 5:51 PM


While I agree with the point I think you were trying to make, I must point out that Bt is a living organism, not a chemical. It works by infecting larvae of various pests and then killing them. Any pest that doesn't have a "worm-like" larval stage will not be affected by it.


      
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