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  • Zak Solomon

    Glad you like the website, and I'm glad you learned something from the articles. We are working hard to make the murkiness that is our food world a little clearer :-)

    Interesting question... I'm not sure I understand, exactly, but I'll take a stab specifically focusing on BT corn, the most commonly used GMO. Please note that the discussion would be different for different varieties of GMO crops.

    So, the science is this (in a nutshell): BT corn is corn that, through the use of recombinant DNA tech. (recombinant=recombining DNA from different organisms), has had Bacillus thuringiensis ("BT," an naturally-occurring bacterium found in soil) genes inserted into its genome for the purpose of expressing a toxin that is proven to be toxic to certain corn pests like rootworms.

    So, in theory, if you took a look at BT corn, you could hypothetically state that it was made up of "organic" matter, because all you've done is taken an organic, naturally-occurring bacterium and placed in in the corn genome so now instead of just being in the soil it is in the plant, too. That said, you couldn't call it "natural" because obviously corn doesn't "naturally" have BT in it. Furthermore, I'm not sure it is really in the spirit of the organic legislation/movement to call BT corn "organic," but this is the first time I've ever thought about this, so I'm unsure.

    All this considered, you should also know that BT has been used as an approved topical spray for organic products for the same reasons people wanted to put it in corn in the first place: it is an effective ward against rootworms and other pests, and it is naturally occurring.

    What do you think? Please let me know if I can provide any more insight!

    • Zak Solomon

      Sorry for the double post - this was supposed to be under your comment, Mia.

  • Mia Pokriefka

    informative website (thanks for clarifying: 'made with organic'). I was reading about GMOs and the possibility of them being organic. What is your take on that??

    • Zak Solomon

      Glad you like the website, and I'm glad you learned something from the articles. We are working hard to make the murkiness that is our food world a little clearer :-)

      Interesting question... I'm not sure I understand, exactly, but I'll take a stab specifically focusing on BT corn, the most commonly used GMO. Please note that the discussion would be different for different varieties of GMO crops.

      So, the science is this (in a nutshell): BT corn is corn that, through the use of recombinant DNA tech. (recombinant=recombining DNA from different organisms), has had Bacillus thuringiensis ("BT," an naturally-occurring bacterium found in soil) genes inserted into its genome for the purpose of expressing a toxin that is proven to be toxic to certain corn pests like rootworms.

      So, in theory, if you took a look at BT corn, you could hypothetically state that it was made up of "organic" matter, because all you've done is taken an organic, naturally-occurring bacterium and placed in in the corn genome so now instead of just being in the soil it is in the plant, too. That said, you couldn't call it "natural" because obviously corn doesn't "naturally" have BT in it. Furthermore, I'm not sure it is really in the spirit of the organic legislation/movement to call BT corn "organic," but this is the first time I've ever thought about this, so I'm unsure.

      All this considered, you should also know that BT has been used as an approved topical spray for organic products for the same reasons people wanted to put it in corn in the first place: it is an effective ward against rootworms and other pests, and it is naturally occurring.

      What do you think? Please let me know if I can provide any more insight!