The Benefits Of Bt Corn

821 Words 4 Pages
Bt Corn “In the United States, 33% of all crops are lost to disease, weeds, and insects. Since the 1940s, crop losses due to insects have risen from about 7 to 13%” (Linacre, Thompson, 2003). GMO 's are foods that have been genetically modified to control for pest, control food spoilage, or to make our foods bigger. Scientist do this by inserting genes of different species into our foods. One of those foods that have been genetically modified is our corn. BT corn was genetically changed by inserting the gene for a toxin called Bacillus thuringiensis (2003). By adding this gene, it has given farmers the ability to grow their crops without fear they will be destroyed by pests (2003). There has been many speculations of about the effects of …show more content…
One benefit to Bt corn is that it decreases the loss of corn crop due to kernel rot. A fungus known as Aspergillus causes the rot farmers see in their crops also, this fungus is related to insect damages (Vries, 2000 a). Bt corn reduces the amount of food loss because the corn has the genes to protects itself from the many predictors that wish it harm, such as many pests that attack corn. An entomologist, named Patrick Dowd, found that Bt corn can even be healthier than normal corn. He found that the levels of mycotoxin fumonisin, a potential carcinogen, were drastically reduced in the genetically modified corn, compared to a non-GM plant (Vries, 2000 b). By using the Bt corn, instead of the regular corn, farmers could reduce potential cancer causing agents from being consumed by the human population. There is also an economical benefit to using Bt corn. When farms use the Bt corn, they have seen an increase yield in their crop by up to 7% and 77% of farmers indicated an increase benefit from the increase yield ( “Economics of Bt Corn”, 2012). The farmers also saw an increase in profits because of the Bt corn. Another benefeit to using the Bt corn versus normal corn is that it reduces the amount of insecticide used. Because the corn has the insecticide within its genes, it reduces the use of commercial insecticide. Commercial insecticides, such as DDT, have shown to cause harm to many species and have the potential risk to run-off with rain and created unnecessary problems. The Bt corn reduces those risk because farmers no longer need to use harsh chemicals to protect their crops from unwanted

Related Documents