Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) use in organics
Organic lobbyists often resort to fear mongering to help support their points. They’re also fond of the usage of showing plants being injected with needles. A quick Google search demonstrates their use of this misinformation, despite it having nothing to to with how crops are genetically modified.
The fact is plants produce their own natural pesticides. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacteria that naturally occurs in soil. Bt works by binding to receptors in the gut of certain insects (receptors that aren’t present in humans!), forming holes in the wall of the gut, which kills the insect. It’s been used safely for over 40 years in the US. Organic farmers can use Bt in squash to combat the squash vine borer, and that’s okay! It’s effective and has shown to be a safe method for reducing crop loss.
It’s far more profitable for the organic industry to villainize GMO crops instead of being honest. Commercially available GM crops are just as safe as organic crops. In fact, are there any long-term studies establishing the safety of organic crops? Hmm…
The pro-science crowd simply can’t keep up with the anti-GMO crowd because the anti-GMO groups are more than happy to misconstrue or flat-out ignore data that contrasts with their previously held belief. The anti-GMO groups have systematically lied to the public about GM technology by making emotional appeals (such as suggesting that GM is achieved by injecting things into food) instead of making rational, honest statements. It’s a marketing ploy, and it’s effective.
After all, if they’re advocating for labels on GM crops, shouldn’t they also advocate for a label on crops that have been bombarded with radiation to produce unknown and completely random mutations? This form of genetic modification is called mutagenesis, and interestingly enough, the organic lobby is not advocating for them to be labeled. That would require crops like the “organic grapefruit” to be labeled and placed right beside other GMO-labeled crops, which would confuse the hell out of the average consumer. After all, if GMO = bad, then how can an organic crop be genetically modified?
Special credits: Layla Katiraee – Biochica, Biology Fortified , & Kavin Senapathy.