Researchers at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York, USA have detected the presence of a protein with insecticidal properties in a significant number of the 217 streams tested in the corn belt region of the American Midwest.
Genetically modified corn contains a gene from a certain bacteria, which is inserted into the plant, making it toxic to a type of beetle that eats corn. This gene produces the insecticidal protein that the scientist found at a quarter of the sites tested.
Once the corn has been harvested the stalks remain in the fields, and the decomposing plant material is washed into streams. Study spokeswoman and aquatic ecologist Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall affirmed, “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.”
Other researchers have pointed out that the local runoff eventually drains into regions with wider impact such as the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, which in turn flows into the sea. Researchers, we thank you for this important work showing the unnatural risks inherent in genetically modified organisms.
May humans strive instead to live in harmony with nature for an abundant and sustainable future. During a March 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed audience concerns regarding genetically modified food, pointing out a lasting way to stop the need for such detrimental production practices.