Genetically Modified Corn Does Not Damage Non-Target Organisms


A new major meta-analysis has found that Bt corn does not damage non-target organisms. The results published Monday by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service found genetically modified Bt corn has little impact on non-target insects and other organisms, especially compared to growing conventional corn. Bt corn is corn that has been genetically modified so that it produces proteins to control corn borers, corn rootworms and other major pests of corn. The first Bt corn was approved in 1996, and critics have been suggesting that it also can destroy beneficial insects or other non-targeted organisms. The study gathered hundreds of individual studies published between 1997 to 2020 that have looked at whether growing Bt corn changed the environmental abundance of non-target animals. Bt corn represents a highly selective pest control technology with relatively few negative consequences for non-target invertebrates, especially when compared with the use of broad-spectrum insecticides for managing Bt-targeted pests, according to the scientists.