Bt Crops Threaten Aquatic Ecosystems

ISIS Press Release 30/10/07

Scientists find wastes from transgenic Bt corn impair growth of common aquatic insect and call on future risk assessment to include aquatic ecosystems previously overlooked. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

In 2006, 35 percent of the 33.1 million hectares of the corn planted in the United States was transgenic, modified to express the Bt toxin Cry1Ab from Bacillus thuringiensis. Bt corn is widely planted in the Midwestern US, often next to headwater streams. Yet, no environmental impact studies have been made of Bt crop by-products on stream insects such as caddisflies (trichopterans), which are common in streams, and closely related to the lepidopterans (butterflies and moths) targeted by the Cry1Ab protein in Bt corn.

As a group, the caddisflies have diverse feeding habbits. Some are filter- feeders, others scrape bioflims off submerged surfaces, and still others feed on detritus. All these caddisflies may consume Bt corn by-products.

A team of scientists led by Emma J. Rosi-Marshall at:Loyola University Chicago in Illinois have now carried out the first study on the fate of transgenic Bt corn wastes in headwater streams next to the fields and their impact on the caddisflies [1]

Read the rest of this article here //www.i-sis.org.uk/BtCropsThreatenAquaticEcosystems.php

or read other articles on GM Maize here //www.i-sis.org.uk/GE-maize.php



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