Case: The Neighbors

GMO Farming

"GMO" is a relatively new acronym to appear on the farming scene. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have had their genetic makeup altered. In the case of crops, this genetic makeup is usually changed to help the crop flourish, whether it be to have the seed yield a larger harvest or to allow the plant to produce its own pesticides.

Bt corn, a common genetically modified crop, is of the latter type. Bt stands for bacillus thuringiensis, the soil bacterium from which the Bt gene was from originally. Bacillus thuringiensis produces a protein that kills Lepidoptera larvae, or more commonly known as the corn borer. By allowing the corn to produce this protein, the corn itself can kill its predator. This allows the corn to flourish without the spraying of insecticides throughout the field.

In addition to Bt corn, there are many other Bt crops, including Bt soybeans, Bt potatoes, and Bt sweet corn.

GM crops can cause problems with their pollen is allowed to mix with pollen of non-genetically modified crops, producing GM hy brid seeds. When this happens, it is referred to as ³cross contamination², the mixing of two different pollens.

For more information, here are some websites Mitch found in his research. Be sure to use your critical thinking skills as you read them.


Mitch's Journal
Miller's Statement
Bransen's Statement
Minsento's brochure
Notes: Options
Notes: GMO farming
Notes: Organic farming
Notes: Previous cases

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Last updated 16 April 2003.
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