Implications Of BT Cotton

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Is It Possible To Have The Cake and Eat It Too When It Comes To BT Cotton? By: Razan Alhaj, Jaycee Nguyen, Sarah Ronquillo, and Sharissa Soriano March 24, 2014 Worldwide – As many may know, BT Cotton is a cotton plant that has been genetically modified to produce a toxin known as BT (Bacillus thuringiensis), hence the name BT Cotton. Normally cotton is grown within the small green buds of the plant, known as the boll, and once ripe, the bud blossoms to reveal the cotton fibers, but many farmers struggle to protect their cotton from insect invasion like the bollworm. The bollworm is an insect the burrows into the boll of the cotton plant as a form of shelter and nutrients. This modification prevent insect invasion because the cotton plant can now produce the toxin within itself, so once the bollworm tries to burrow into the boll it will be exposed to the toxin, resulting in death. The Good - Genetically modified cotton cultivation has become widely popular in places like, India, China, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Columbia, and even the United States. Many cultivators of BT Cotton can agree on the positive benefits such as more yield of cotton fibers during every harvest, due to the lack of pest infestation. A research done in China back in 2004 can also agree, because due to the increase in BT Cotton production there was an associated decrease in pesticide uses, which directly related to a major decrease in the number hospitalizations and deaths of cotton farmers due to pesticide poisoning. Another more recent research done in China in 2012, documented what they called a “halo effect”, or a positive side effect of BT Cotton to be the effect it had on the pink bollworms in non-genetically modified cotton. Stud... ... middle of paper ... ...):1222-35. doi: 10.1111/eva.12099. Epub 2013 Sep 17. 2014 March 21. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24478804. N.A. Genetically Modified Cotton Crops. GMO Compass. 2008 Dec. 4. 2014 March 21. Retrieved from http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/crops/161.genetically_modified_cotton.html. Schnepf E1, Crickmore N, Van Rie J, Lereclus D, Baum J, Feitelson J, Zeigler DR, Dean DH. Bacillus thuringiensis and its pesticidal crystal proteins. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 1998 Sep;62(3):775-806. 2014 March 21. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9729609. Wan P, Huang Y, Tabashnik BE, Huang M, Wu K. The halo effect: suppression of pink bollworm on non-Bt cotton by Bt cotton in China. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e42004. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042004. Epub 2012 Jul 27. 2014 March 21. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22848685.
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