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File:VegCorn.jpg 3.5.A3 Assessment of the potential risks and benefits associated with genetic modification of crops. Bt Corn Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a soil bacterium that produces insecticidal toxins. Genes from Bt have been inserted into maize so GM plants can produce an insecticidal toxin and therefore be resistant to pests, e.g. European Corn Borer. Potential Benefits: Introduction of a new trait Bt gene increases resistance to pests such as the European Corn Borer Results in increased productivity less land used / greater yield / less crop damage Less use of chemical pesticides reduced cost / reduced ecological damage Which benefits are relevant and need assessing for Bt Corn ? Bt toxins are considered to be much more selective and safer for humans and non-target organisms than most conventional insecticides Bt was successfully introduced and Bt Corn is significantly more resistant to pests Maximum productivity has not increased, but losses in ‘bad’ years have been reduced.
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File:VegCorn.jpg 3.5.A3 Assessment of the potential risks and benefits associated with genetic modification of crops. Bt Corn Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a soil bacterium that produces insecticidal toxins. Genes from Bt have been inserted into maize so GM plants can produce an insecticidal toxin and therefore be resistant to pests, e.g. European Corn Borer. All risks should be assessed as part of a comprehensive testing programme. General Potential Risks: Could be toxic to or cause allergic reactions in humans Transferred genes could mutate after testing Non-target organisms affected by toxins Increases resistance to toxin evolves in pests Accidental release may result in competition with native plant species Super weeds - through cross-breeding the introduced gene could be transferred to wild varieties Biodiversity reduced both plant populations by direct competition and animal populations directly and indirectly could be affected Patent laws prevent farmers producing locally suitable varieties this would lead to unregulated field tests, not a desirable situation
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File:VegCorn.jpg 3.5.A3 Assessment of the potential risks and benefits associated with genetic modification of crops. Bt Corn Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a soil bacterium that produces insecticidal toxins. Genes from Bt have been inserted into maize so GM plants can produce an insecticidal toxin and therefore be resistant to pests, e.g. European Corn Borer. General Potential Risks: Could be toxic to or cause allergic reactions in humans Transferred genes could mutate after testing Non-target organisms affected by toxins Increases resistance to toxin evolves in pests Accidental release may result in competition with native plant species Super weeds - through cross-breeding the introduced gene could be transferred to wild varieties Biodiversity reduced both plant populations by direct competition and animal populations directly and indirectly could be affected Patent laws prevent farmers producing locally suitable varieties
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