Why the Corn You Eat Should Always Be Organic

Bt-corn is a type of genetically modified organism (GMO). This modified corn amplifies a toxin produced by the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium, which ruptures the intestines of insects that feed on the GMO corn when ingested. The pests typically die quickly after ingesting the toxin.

Genetically engineered Bt corn crops have been banned in many countries because of the documented harm they cause to people, animals, and insects.

Exposure to Bt corn pollen can cause illnesses and deaths among people.

In 2003, 51 local residents of a small rural area in South Cotabato, a southern province in the island of Mindanao, southern Philippines, came to town to seek medication after being hit at the same time by illnesses including coughs, colds, fever, vomiting, abdominal pains, headaches and difficulty in breathing. The victims' ages ranged from five months to 49 years.

Residents pointed to a nearby 1.75 hectare Bt-corn plantation which was then in its pollinating stage. Victims said they got sick after smelling a foul odor coming from the pollen of the crop, which was within 100 meters from their houses.

Blood samples of 38 individuals afflicted with different diseases in South Cotabato all contained IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies, specific serum IgG antibodies that show that the affected individuals had been exposed to the Bt toxin.

Many if not all of the villagers exposed to GM-maize pollen in 2003 remained ill three years later. Furthermore, there were five unexplained deaths in the village. In total, 96 people got sick. In addition, nine horses, four water buffalos, and 37 chickens died soon after feeding on Bt corn.

Dr. Terje Traavik, the scientist who conducted the analysis of the blood samples of the people who became sick when they were exposed to Bt corn pollen, explained the significance of his research, saying that, while the tests alone could not establish it, a cause-effect relationship between exposure to Bt corn pollen and the people's illnesses could not be ruled out. Further, he said the tests were enough to challenge the biotech industry's long-standing claims that engineered Bt toxins don't show up in pollen, that they don't provoke immune responses and that they are not allergenic.

Eating GMO Bt Crops has caused livestock illnesses and deaths.

In 1996, Syngenta abruptly terminated a Bt corn feeding study after four cows died in two days. Syngenta kept the results of their US study secret and went on to conduct field tests in the EU. A German farmer's dairy cattle suffered illnesses and deaths after being fed exclusively Syngenta's Bt 176 corn grown on his farm as part of authorized field tests from 1997 to 2002. Syngenta paid the farmer 40,000 euros in partial compensation for 5 dead cows, decreased milk yields, and vet costs.

GMO Bt crops kill beneficial insects, including ladybugs, butterflies and honeybees.

GMO Bt crops are lethal to beneficial insects, including ladybugs, butterflies and honeybees. SYN-05307-1 produces an insecticide designed to kill corn rootworm, and is likely to be especially toxic to other insects, especially ladybugs, that, like the rootworm, are also coleopterans. 
to comment