Even worse they replicate on their own from inside each cell of a plant, and are doing so in unexpected and unintended ways. For example toxic genes that had been forced into soy, have been found to have transferred into the DNA of bacteria living inside the intestines of the people who ate the soy.
The scariest thing is that the DNA continues to function even though it is no longer in the soy where it had been implanted, but now in the bacteria of the gut. From inside the human being it continues to express the Bt toxin. Is this mad or is this is evil? Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a naturally occurring organism which produces a toxin. Corporate scientists are adding genes for Bt toxins to a wide array of high value crops to enable the plants to produce their own insecticide.
The genetically engineered Bt crops continuously express the Bt toxin throughout the growing season. It is known that GMOs harbouring Bt endotoxins cause unintended direct adverse effects, including but not limited to mammals including human beings, insects, aquatic life, soil microbes, and their food web dynamics, The primary justifications for the genetic engineering of Bt into crops is that this will reduce the use of insecticides.
This is a great goal because of the negative impacts of these dangerous chemicals on ecosystems and humans is huge. However, despite the promising claims - that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will decrease usage of chemical pesticides (insecticides and herbicides) - this has not been the case. Where these crops are grown the use of pesticides has, after a short period, increased.
It has become apparent, as was predicted by scientists, that long term exposure to Bt toxins promotes development of resistance in insect populations. The first eight species of insects recorded to have developed resistance to Bt toxins, either in the field or laboratory, include the diamond back moth, Indian meal moth, tobacco budworm, Colorado potato beetle, and two species of mosquitoes.
Increased chemical usage is causing pest and weeds to develop resistance, requiring even more chemicals in order to manage them.. A survey in India, for example, conducted by Navdanya in Vidharbha showed that pesticide use has increased 13-fold there since Bt cotton was introduced. A study published in the Review of Agrarian Studies in 2011 showed that small farmers had a higher expenditure on chemical pesticides for Bt cotton than for other varieties.
Non-target pest populations in Bt cotton fields have exploded; it is expected that this will likely counteract any decrease in pesticide use. In China, where Bt cotton is widely planted, populations of mirid bugs, pests that previously posed only a minor problem, have increased 12-fold since 1997.
A 2008 study in the International Journal of Biotechnology found that any financial benefits of planting Bt cotton had been eroded by the increasing use of pesticides needed to combat non-target pests. The same study found that in 2008, GM crops required 26 percent more pounds of pesticides per acre than acres planted with conventional varieties; it is projected that this trend will continue.
Bt cotton is among the ‘miracles’ being pushed by corporations like Monsanto as a solution to the pesticide crisis. However, in Texas, Monsanto faced a lawsuit filed by 25 farmers over Bt cotton planted on 18,000 acres which suffered cotton bollworm damage and on which farmers had to use pesticides in spite of corporate propaganda that genetic engineering meant an end to the pesticide era.
Not only did the genetically engineered cotton not survive cotton bollworm attack, the strategy is creating bugs which are resistant.. The question is not whether super-pests will be created, but when they will become dominant. Correction: A reader in New Zealand, an applied ecologist Dr. L. R. B. Mann wrote to explain that “Many GM-mutants have been created from canola by gene-tampering this past dozen years, but canola itself was bred earlier (selecting for low erucic acid with a view to making the oil fit for human consumption). Much of the North American canola for this past half-decade has been GM mutants; but canola itself is not inherently GM.”