New Study: Bt gene retards growth, causes sterility in GM crops

First planted in the U.S. by Monsanto and in China by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1997, transgenic crops using the Bacillus thuringiensis gene that makes the Cry1Ac protein include cotton, rice, corn (maize), tomatoes, and soybean, which are grown in 19 nations. See chart at bottom. ~Ed.

By The Telegraph
Calcultta, India

Gene alarm on GM crops

New Delhi, June 2: Indian scientists have discovered that the genetic modification of plants with a gene already used in crops worldwide may severely damage the plants, a surprising finding that may stir a debate on current crop biotechnology science.

The scientists at the University of Delhi have shown that inserting a bacterial gene that makes a protein named Cry1Ac into genomes of plants appears to cause developmental defects, growth retardation and sterility in the plants.

Several experimental and commercial genetically-modified plants, including GM cotton cultivated in India and other countries, make the Cry1Ac protein which is toxic to some insects. The insects die when they try to eat parts of these GM crops.

The Delhi scientists have now shown through laboratory experiments that modifying cotton or tobacco with Cry1Ac has a detrimental effect on these plants. Their results have appeared in the Journal of Bioscience published this month by the Indian Academy of Sciences.

“This is a completely unexpected finding,” said Durgadas Kasbekar, a senior biologist with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad who was not associated with the study, but is the editor of the Journal of Bioscience.

“Until this point, if you asked someone in the plant biotechnology community what the Cry1Ac toxin does in plants, they would say it kills insects. No one has yet demonstrated harm to plants as this study has done,” Kasbekar told The Telegraph.

The Delhi researchers say such observations may have been overlooked in the past as most previous studies were aimed at finding plant varieties that can be genetically altered just enough so that they are suitable for cultivation.

Independent studies have earlier shown that levels of Cry1Ac in some commercial GM cotton decline progressively over the life-cycle of the plant and are produced at such low levels in vulnerable parts of the crop that insects can continue to consume them.

“We find a very strong correlation between the levels of Cry1Ac and abnormalities —higher the levels of Cry1Ac in the plants, the greater the damage,” said Pradeep Burma, a plant geneticist at the University of Delhi South Campus, who led the study.

Burma said these findings do not in any way suggest that GM crops are either unsafe for consumption or can cause damage to other crops or the environment. “But they reveal a previously unrecognised effect on GM plant development,” Burma said.

“It’s a hurdle we need to overcome to improve insect-resistance in crops,” he said.

Read more at The Telegraph

7 responses to “New Study: Bt gene retards growth, causes sterility in GM crops

  1. Pingback: New Study: Bt gene retards growth, causes sterility in GM crops (via Food Freedom) « OntheWilderSide

  2. Had we a sufficient food reserve to last us for two years, the land could rest and would purge these sterile plants. Thereafter, we could sow the soil with healthy heirloom seeds.
    Our short sighted agriculture plans resemble the people who live from one check to the next. Now, they subsist from weekly food stamp distributions. As egregious are GMO seeds, it is impossible to survive without annual seeding, because greedy MIGA* did not think far enough ahead.
    Joseph remembered the Lord’s wisdom, which ordained that the land must be fallow for a full year every seven years. Joseph knew how to build granaries, and the Egyptians survived by living on the ‘fat of the land’ from harvests of the past.
    *Military-Industrial-Government Alliance

  3. Scientists have fond Bt toxin from GMO plants in our blood, which biotech corps said could NEVER happen… wonder what harm it does us????

  4. I hate to be the eternal pessimist; but I fear the time to WAKE UP has come and gone!

  5. Those countries who have abstained from this shooting yourself in the foot agricultural fiasco will find themselves to be the big beneficiaries. I live in Thailand and thank God they did not get involved in this foolishness.

    This reminds me of an old television ad from the seventies where the lady playing the part of Mother Nature says “you can’t fool Mother Nature” when someone slips some margarine in her porridge. And of all the products to be using this phrase it was the one molecule away from being plastic Chiffon Margarine Commercial. The stuff you can leave open in your garage for decades and nothing will touch it and it could probably sit there and outlast your house.

    Give Monsanto, Bill Gates and their kind enough time and freedom to do as they please and we will all be something like margarine. Just enough of an IQ to mumble a few inanities about how every thing is just fine, watching our just fine TV shows while one of Bill Gates mosquitoes comes by and gives us a vaccination (thanks Billy Boy). Nice and chemically docile eating our GMO’s covered in plastic margarine. So totally sterile that we don’t reproduce and don’t die and if we did a fly would not even land on us. Maybe that is why we have not heard any radio signals from outer space they got to the margarine stage long before us and advanced onto the zombie stage. That’s where you don’t need entertainment from radios, TV or other people you just sit there with a blank chemical GMO stair on your face, yes I can see it all clearly now The New World Order.

    You think I am kidding; well I am afraid I am not kidding. I have already heard a few stories from patients about their mates having problems. I tell people that when you start cleansing, detoxing and eating real food you better hope your mate joins you or it is really going to get weird in your house.

    Doc Blake

  6. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Food Freedom | Decentralize, Grow Your Own, Buy Local.

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