According to the World Health Organization, GMOs are “Organisms in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.”
Genetically modified organisms are organisms built with genes from more than one species. The process involves laboratories and scientists followed by regulators, lawyers and lobbyists. There is nothing natural about it. So when biotech argues that the techniques for creating GMO crops are just like traditional crop breeding techniques, those statements are blatantly false.
The First Frankenfood
One of the first GMO crops to be put on the market was Bt-corn. Bt-corn was made a few decades ago by combining the genes of a bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, with the DNA of corn. This genetic modification was engineered to create corn that produces pesticide. Every cell now produces a new protein never before seen in corn, the Bt endotoxin or Bt protein. The toxin is produced in sufficient quantities to kill insects.
The Bt protein or Bt endotoxin must be ingested in order for it to kill. After ingestion, the Bt protein binds to the insect’s digestive tract. It can no longer feed, and in a matter of hours its gut breaks down, and bacteria from its digestive tract flood the insect’s body. It dies of septicemia, eaten from within.