Should we use the seed that is immune?


The corn on the left is all natural but diseased  whereas the corn on the right is disease controlled with Bt technology (Photo Courtesy Google Search)

The AgriMarketing Magazine is a primary source of agribusiness news and discussion for the North American Agribusiness Community. The magazine has long since adopted the latest communication technologies and distributes its magazine via an internet website, mobile internet, social media and traditional marketing channels.

A recent online article on its website questions the high usage of BT Hybrid seeds for corn and soybean this year. For those of you that are unaware Bt Hybrids are genetically modified seeds that are made to resist pests and herbicides.

However since their introduction and increased usage, international organisations and the public have raised the issue of its safety. For example concerns have been raised with Bt corn and its effect on non-targeted insects, cross pollination with natural corn, safety for human consumption, and the build up of Bt resistance in pests.

The article, sourced from the University of Illinois, reports that “intense use of Bt hybrids is also anticipated for the 2012 growing season (in the United States). The reporter questions the wisdom of applying such intense selection pressure on insect populations when many of the pest species are well below economic levels in most producers’ fields,” Nonetheless, this pattern is not expected to change.

In 2009, in the United States, 85% of the maize crop was genetically modified. As the U.S. is a benchmark for agricultural production, one wonders if this clearly questionable practice will find itself within the Caribbean Region. In this part of the world we already suffer from excessive use of pesticides. Hopefully an alternative can be adopted.

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