22 September 1997
Environmentalists fear Bt-based genetic engineering

ENVIRONMENTAL and other pressure groups are pressing the US Environmental Protection Agency to preserve a pesticide spray based on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), rather than using genetically-engineered crops.

They fear genetic engineering based on Bt, which would result in crops making their own insecticides. Cotton, maize and potatoes containing Bt are already on the market. More than 20 such crops have either been approved or are awaiting approval.

Of the $8.1bn spent annually on insecticides, nearly $2.7bn could be replaced by Bt crops. There are concerns that incorporating Bt into crops will hasten the development of resistance to Bt.

  • The Times 22/09/97 page 17