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Modified Corn Reduces Insecticide

Genetically Modified Sweet Corn Can Reduce Insecticide Use

Science Daily, Oct. 7, 2013 —"A new study finds that genetically-modified sweet corn is better for the environment and safer for farm workers

Since 1996, corn containing a gene that allows it to create a protein that is toxic to certain insects, yet safe for human consumption, has been grown in the United States. However, most of this "Bt corn" has been used for animal feed or processed into corn meal, starch, or other products. Although varieties of sweet corn (corn on the cob) have existed since the late 1990s, relatively few acres have been planted.

Due to pressure from activist groups, some grocery stores have refused to carry Bt sweet corn. However, a new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology suggests that Bt sweet corn is better for the environment because it requires fewer pesticide applications than conventional corn.

"Our data suggest that using Bt sweet corn will dramatically reduce the use of traditional insecticides," the authors wrote. "Based on the performance of Bt field corn, growers should realize increased profits and there will be less risk to nontarget organisms, including natural enemies that help suppress pest densities."...

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