BT Corn

By: Jake Stugelmeyer

How Does BT Corn Help Humans Change The World

In the past corn used to be sprayed with Bt insecticide. But now it is genetically modified into the corn. Because of this there are no harmful chemicals. When the insecticide used to be sprayed onto the corn it was harmful to the non-harmful insects such as bees and beetles.

The new Bt corn is genetically modified with a certain gene that when a caterpillar or other harmful insect/animal tries to eat the corn they die making it so there is less corn being eaten. Caterpillars alone cost over $1 million in damage to farms all over the world. Also because of the gene being genetically modified into the corn that means that all of the non-harmful insects/animals aren't effected by the corn unlike when it was a sprayed on insecticide. One non harmful insect is the beetle, without the beetles there wouldn't be as much insects eating the weeds that are growing in the corn yeilds. Without these beetles there would be a decrease in corn yeilds which would cost even more damage adding onto the damage caused by the caterpillars.

When the insecticide was sprayed onto the corn it could often infect the pollen which means when the bees come to pollinate the corn they could get infected and die. Without the bees, like without the beetles, there would be a decrease in corn on farms because there is less bees to pollination all of the corn meaning less money being made from the corn.

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Another reason why they created BT corn instead of continuing to spray insecticide on the crops is because the pests were starting to build an immunity to the insecticide. Because of this the insects weren't being stopped and the insecticide wasn't doing what it needed to to stop the pests to protect the crops.

The new BT gene helped the corn to when the insects started eating the crop they died in a rather short amount of time compared tot he insecticide.

Since the first time BT corn was introduced to farmers the amount of corn and other crops that has a genetically modified gene in it has risen by a lot. In 2012 about 88% of all corn was GM with the BT gene inserted into it. In 2013 93% of all corn had the BT gene in it. Now about 70-80% of all of Americas processed food has at least 1 GM gene in it.

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Bibliography

Gurian-Sherman, Doug. "Blog The Equation." The Equation. N.p., 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 23 Nov. 2015


Hellmich, Richard L. "Use and Impact of BT Corn Maize." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015


"Bt Corn: Genetically Modified Corn | Online Homework Help | SchoolWorkHelper." Online Homework Help SchoolWorkHelper. N.p., 7 Dec. 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.


Hensel, Angela, and Sam Aspnes. "The Explosion of Genetically Modified Crops Has Changed Agriculture, But Not Without Controversy."Omaha.com. N.p., 18 May 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2015