How about an EXTRA does of Bt toxins in your food? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has already given their rubber stamp to Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt corn, cotton, potatoes, and soy that contain a soil dwelling bacterium used as a biological pesticide linked to negative immune system responses in a single dose, but now insect-resistant trait event DAS-81419-2, a double Bt toxin soy has now been de-regulated or ‘approved’ by our illustrious ‘protector of the food supply.’
Bt toxins basically explode the stomachs of unwanted insects in order to kill them:
“To kill a susceptible insect, a part of the plant that contains the Bt protein (not all parts of the plant necessarily contain the protein in equal concentrations) must be ingested. Within minutes, the protein binds to the gut wall and the insect stops feeding. Within hours, the gut wall breaks down and normal gut bacteria invade the body cavity. The insect dies of septicaemia as bacteria multiply in the blood. Even among Lepidoptera larvae, species differ in sensitivity to the Bt protein.”
Monsanto once promised the world that Bt GMOs would only harm pests – not humans, but Bt toxic proteins have been found in the blood of both pregnant mothers and their fetuses, and the health concerns surrounding Bt toxins loom large.
Bt proteins, specifically Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A are extremely toxic to mammalian blood. One study explains:
“. . . Cry toxins exert their toxicity when activated at alkaline pH of the digestive tract of susceptible larvae, and, because the physiology of the mammalian digestive system does not allow their activation, and no known specific receptors in mammalian intestinal cells have been reported, the toxicity [of] these MCAs [microbial control agents] to mammals would negligible. However, our study demonstrated that Bt spore-crystals genetically modified to express individually Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A induced hematotoxicity, particularly to the erythroid lineage. This finding corroborates literature that demonstrated that alkali-solubilized Bt spore-crystals caused in vitro hemolysis in cell lines of rat, mouse, sheep, horse, and human erythrocytes and suggested that the plasma membrane of susceptible cells (erythrocytes, in this case) may be the primary target for these toxins. . .”
The USDA’s deregulation of the two Bt protein trait to be allowed in soybeans through biotech engineering methods opens the door for other crops to be modified with additional Bt toxins as well.
This ‘in-plant’ GM version of soy was created in order to protect against pests like fall army (Spodoptera frugiperda), soybean looper (Pseudoplusia includes), velvetbean caterpillar (Anticarsia gemmatalis), soybean podworm (Helicoverpa gelotopoeon) and tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens) and Rachiplusia nu.
Dow AgroSciences said the two-Bt trait can be included in their Enlist soybeans, created to withstand copious sprayings of 2,4-D a choline-based herbicide. Enlist soybeans of this nature are currently pending approval by the USDA.
Dow AgroSciences states:
“Upon regulatory approvals, the soybean insect-resistant trait will be offered as a stack with the company’s innovative Enlist soybean traits in elite and high-yielding varieties. This integrated solution will provide much-needed insect control as well as tolerance to multiple herbicides for improved weed management, allowing crops to maximize yield in a highly efficient and sustainable manner.”
The U.S. is only one of a few countries where the Bt trait has been submitted for regulatory approval. Dow AgroSciences has said the trait would initially be targeted for commercialization in soybeans for South America where lepidopteran insect pressure can be quite high. Brazil and Argentina are specifically noted as countries that could greatly benefit from new Bt-traited soybeans. The company said it plans to broadly license the technology to regional seed companies in those two countries but wasn’t expecting it to be in South American soybean seed for three to five years.
There has been no timeline for the trait to be incorporated into U.S. Enlist soybeans, but the first Enlist soybeans, possibly approved by the USDA and commercially available as soon as 2015, will not have the DAS-81419-2 event included.
Biotech usually tries to choose a “selectable marker gene” that is normally associated with a gene of interest during plant transformation, but they can never account for rouge genes and the way they will affect organisms outside of the plants in which they are insinuated. Just like the USDA itself, now essentially a rogue agency doing whatever they want to our food supply, transgenic implantation offers only dire health consequences over time to those who consume them. Would we expect anything less from consuming a ‘food’ that has its own ‘built-in’ pesticide?