The controversy surrounding genetically modified crops is heating uponce again with the release of a new study critical of Bt corn. TheGreat Lakes Radio Consortium’s Dale Willman reports:
The controversy surrounding genetically modified crops is heating up once again with the release
of a new study critical of Bt corn. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Dale Willman reports.
Bt is a naturally occurring insecticide that has been genetically placed into certain strains
of corn. Researchers at Iowa State University conducted the study. They say it shows the pollen
produced by that corn is deadly to the larvae of monarch butterflies. Professor John Obrycki says
they placed milkweed plants in both Bt and non-Bt corn fields for several days. Then they
counted the pollen on the milkweed leaves and fed the pollen and leaves to monarch larvae in the
“And we observed significantly higher mortality when we
exposed those larvae to the Bt corn pollen, as compared to the
non-Bt corn pollen.”
Critics say the study does not reflect real-world conditions, such as rain that could wash the
pollen away. However, Obrycki says many of the plants they used were exposed to rain and wind,
yet the remaining pollen was still enough to kill the larvae. The study meanwhile is of
particular importance to farmers in the Great Lakes region, where a significant amount of the
corn grown is of the Bt variety.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Dale Willman.