2 December 1999
GM maize found to excrete toxin
THE controversy over genetically modified (GM) foods takes a new twist following the discovery that maize engineered to resist insects has been found to excrete toxin into soil.
The toxin is a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which has been engineered into the maize to kill insects.
Researchers at New York Universitys laboratory of microbial ecology have been surprised to discover that the toxin remained active in the soil for up to 25 days.
The team had not realised a large protein could pass out of the root.
News of the research is likely to cause anxiety among US farmers, already wondering whether to sow expensive GM seeds next year.
- The Times 02/12/99 page 17
- Financial Times 02/12/99 page 7