GM Corn Destroys US Rivers
October 14th, 2010
By: Ethan A. Huff
New research reveals that genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are destroying both human health and the environment. According to Emma Rosi-Marshall from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., GM corn crops are leeching a toxic bacterial gene into the environment, polluting waterways and rivers across the U.S.
More than 85 percent of the U.S. corn crop in 2009 was GM. This GM corn contains a gene called Bacillus thuriengensis (Bt) that has been injected into it to repels pests like the corn borer beetle. Each kernel of corn literally grows a pesticide protein inside it called Cry1Ab that deters and kill pests.
Besides the fact that eating such corn is obviously toxic, the residue of this built-in pesticide also ends up covering large swaths of U.S. farmland. After the corn is harvested, husks, stalks and other residue doused and bred with pesticides end up getting carried away by rain, snow and other environmental factors into nearby rivers and streams
“Our research adds to the growing body of evidence that corn crop byproducts can be dispersed throughout a stream network, and that the compounds associated with genetically modified crops, such as insecticidal proteins, can enter nearby water bodies,” Rosi-Marshall is quoted as saying in a recent article in The Independent.
Tests revealed that every stream with detectable levels of GM pesticides was located within roughly 1,600 feet of a GM corn field. And roughly 90 percent of the streams and rivers in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana — three states that grow large amounts of GM crops — are located within this distance, indicating a serious problem.
“The tight linkage between corn fields and streams warrants further research into how corn byproducts, including Cry1Ab insecticidal proteins, potentially impact non-target ecosystems, such as streams and wetlands,” said Dr. Rosi-Marshall.