Iowa State University Extension and ISU Office of Biotechnology
Lesson Module I – The Science Behind Bt Crops
The Science Behind
The Nature of BT
“Bt” is short for
a soil bacterium
whose spores contain a crystalline (Cry) protein. In the
insect gut, the protein breaks down to release a toxin,
known as delta-endotoxin. This toxin binds to the
intestinal lining and creates pores, resulting in ion
imbalance, paralysis of the digestive system, and after a
few days, insect death.
The bt toxin has been around and used for over 40 years for insect control ( still being used in organic food production ) and in home gardens -- By the way WHERE does this piece talk about killing bees This BT kills the larvae of insects not moths..
“Bt” is short for Bacillus thuringiensis, a soil bacterium --- and is natural .
It's not natural for the DNA of BT be inserted into Corn, Soy Alfafa, etc. That's why they are called Frankenfoods. You are mixing the DNA of one organism with another. We don't have ANY proof GMOs are safe. I wouldn't even worry about it for your own health. If the bees dissappear. We loose. Period.
From the good and healthy folks at naturalnews:
A significant health freedom victory has taken place in the European nation of Poland, where all plantings of Monsanto's MON810, a genetically-modified (GM) variety of maize (corn) that produces its own built-in Bt insecticide in every kernel, have been officially banned.
The decision comes after thousands of protesters recently took to the streets in demonstration of the undeniable fact that both MON810 and the chemicals applied to it are at least partially responsible for causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the worldwide phenomenon in which entire swarms of honey bees disappear or turn up dead.
"The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland," said Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, who also explained to the press that pollen from MON810 appears to be responsible for further devastating the already dwindling bee population throughout the country and elsewhere.
According to reports, Poland's decision to ban MON810 makes it the first nation to formally acknowledge that Monsanto's GM corn is definitively linked to CCD. It also affirms the findings of several earlier studies that have identified a link between Bt GM crops and bee deaths, including independent research conducted by Pennsylvania beekeeper John McDonald.
McDonald's research found that bees foraging near Bt crops did not gain the proper amount of weight, and failed to produce honey in their honey supers (honey storage bins) when they should have. Their non-Bt crop counterparts, on the other hand, produced more than double the amount of honey they needed to survive the winter
very interesting....can you provide a reference to "undeniable fact that both MON810 and the chemicals applied to it are at least partially responsible for causing Colony Collapse Disorder" . I did google your reference, and came up with a 2008 article about the bee keepers theory (he called it his opinion, you called it a fact".
But on a positive note, their action should provide some clarity on the "fact". Makes me also think...since other EU countries did this a while ago....has their bee issues turned around ? Has the "fact" been proven ?
cheezy, did you actually read below the part you cut and pasted. Because if you did, you know that you are being dishonest. The next part of the same document explains that the various bt toxins are highly specific and lists the kinds of insects each specific toxin kills, and you know very well that bees are nowhere on that list.
rader, where is your common sense. Any study published on GMO's has to be approved by mon first. So you think there would anything out there saying the GMO's are dangerous to bees or humans? When Bt is spliced into Corn, Cotton, Soy, what have you, the effects are unknown for the most part, but the fact that Bt makes insects insides blow up, kinda makes you think doesn't it? I mean what is that GMO corn pollen doing to them? Think about it, or don't...
Thanks for posting something factual, a breath of fresh air. Let's look deeper! Here's a nice paper that indicates Bt Cry proteins in GM corn do not harm bees, " Hendriksma HP, Küting M, Härtel S, Näther A, Dohrmann AB, et al. (2013) Effect of Stacked Insecticidal Cry Proteins from Maize Pollen on Nurse Bees (Apis mellifera carnica) and Their Gut Bacteria. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059589". From the paper, "There was no indication from mortality or body weight data that the Bt maize pollen or their included Cry proteins exhibited any negative effect on the nurse bees. This confirms data from laboratory feeding studies on the lack of adverse effects of Cry protein containing pollen on individual bees outside of their social context." and "The relatively low Cry protein concentration measurements compared to the high exposure of nurse bees indicate that the recombinant proteins were actively digested. The natural occurrence of Cry proteins in the gut of nurse bees with no exposure to Bt maize and the lack of detectable effects on nurse bees and their gut bacteria give no indication for harmful effects of this Bt maize on honey nurse bees." They also reference a number of papers that found similar results when looking at single, specific, Cry proteins as opposed to the multiple "stacked" Cry proteins present in the MON Bt Maize they were utilizing, "A number of studies on effects of purified or pollen-enclosed single Cry proteins demonstrate that there is to date no indication of acute or chronic toxicity either for larvae or adult bees –." It's nice little read, you should give it a go.
Could you post some information on research that supports your assertion that "It's the BT corn that's killing the bees"? That would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
A quick google search revealed.
Call me crazy but when I read a GMO study like this that goes for ten days, it
makes me wonder what happens at 30, 60, 90 days and if the succeeding
generations are affected. Did anyone else see that French study that stretched
out the (company funded) study beyond the original parameters to where they did
show deleterious effects?
The Tribune reported on May 25 that many scientists say genetically modified foods are safe (“Protesters in cities around the globe rally against Monsanto”). The story failed to also report, however, there are many scientists who claim genetically modified foods are not safe.
While accurately reporting that the Food and Drug Administration claims GMO foods are safe, the story seemed to forget that agencies of the federal government at one time said that Monsanto’s DDT is good for you and me, that Monsanto’s Agent Orange has no health risks and that Monsanto’s PCBs are not harmful.
Atta boy, use past practices from 50 years ago to condem those involved.
I recall mom's bathing us in cocco tanning oils back then, while having a #$%$ tail before driving us to the beach to get a good radiation dose. Afterwards we'd come home to a good dinner of Swanson TV dinners, and maybe go to the shoe store to get our feet X rayed.
darn moms !!
Not saying risks should not be continually updated as science and our knowledge increases...just saying picking on a half century ago..
And the whole sales immediate elimination of DDT...well, we all know of the deaths in third world countries for that overly enthusiastic ban resulted in...sometimes the best of bad choices is the best choice.