Genetically Modified Corn: by Atmika, Claire, Selina, Chloe

Genetic modification of crops, when described simply, is  when people take a gene from an organism and apply it to a crop, in order for the crop to possess a desired trait. Genetic modification improves the taste of crops, make them more nutritional, improve resistance from pests, and may also conserve resources because they may not need as many resources to survive. Genetic modification, or GM can also be bad because the DNA and protein that is changed in the plants may harm insects causing death and may also negatively impact the ecosystem. As a solution, part of EPA requirements for farmers is for those who plant BT corn have to plant non-BT corn to provide a safe shelter for pests and insects that are vulnerable towards the genetically modified corn.

The altered DNA of the genetically modified corn and B.T proteins used in them contribute to the elimination of harmless insects. The altered DNA of the G.M corn is not sustainable to the beneficial insects, which affects their natural cycles making them vulnerable to the new changes and kills them. The B.T proteins that are used in the genetically modified corn are also found in insect sprays, which kill all insects including beneficial ones. When B.T proteins are used in the G.M corn, they cannot control getting rid of only pests, but all insects including the vulnerable ones. These causes made from the genetically modified corn caused the destruction of the harmless insects as well as the pests.

BT corn can have positive and negative effects on the environment. Genetically modified corn has been proven to cause no greater health issues towards humans than conventional foods. Although GT corn has no great effect on humans it has a harmful effect on insects, and in some cases it can be fatal towards the insects. The BT corn kills pests, but it is not possible to only kill pests, so the BT corn also kills the beneficial insects. The protein activates within the gut of the vulnerable insects. A toxin is formed and it paralyzes the digestive system of the insect, and it forms a hole in the gut-wall. This prevents the ability to eat, and the insect will stop eating, and eventually starve. The pollen of the corn can kill the larvae of the insects, specifically monarch butterflies.


Part of EPA requirements for farmers is that for the people who plant BT corn have to plant non-BT corn to provide a refuge for pests and insects that are vulnerable towards the genetically modified corn. The theory behind this was that it would slow down the evolution of resistance pesticides. However it would help prevent the killing of beneficial insects that were being harmed by the BT corn.  This was the only solution that we found that was attempted others we found were only  possibilities.


“Monsanto Lied, GMO Corn Filled with Toxins.” YouTube. YouTube, 14 June 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2014. <>.

“What Is a Genetically Modified Food? – Instant Egghead #45.” YouTube. YouTube, 07 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2014. <>. (Image) (Image) (image) (corn gifs)


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