Genetically modified (GM) cropsthat contain Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins protect crops from insect damage and significantly reduce the use of chemical insecticide sprays. Bt has been commonly used in both organic and GM crops for decades with a history of safe use (HOSU). Like all biological systems, such as disease-causing bacteria and antibiotics, insects evolve and adapt to their environment, which can result in resistance to Bt after years of usage. Consequently, there is a need for research of new insecticidal proteins that will result in GM crops with environmentally-friendly insect pest control. 

This paper looks at the safety assessment of a protein family called ETX-MTX2, which contains many proteins with a history of safe use (e.g. mosquito control) but also a few that are toxic to mammals. There are key differences between ETX-MTX2 proteins that are and aren’t toxic to mammals. These differences are an essential component of a relevant GM product’s safety assessment.  As scientists identify potential insecticidal proteins, they also refine what safety studies will need to be completed to ensure any new GM crops that would contain these proteins are as safe as conventional (non-GM) crops. The full journal article can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2AQYo28

"As an environmentalist and former professor, it is important to me that consumers know that there is a growing body of scientific knowledge that helps scientists make educated decisions on the safety of proteins, and that these decisions are just one of numerous safety evaluations implemented to ensure food safety."

[unex_ce_article_image_with_subhead layer-name="Author pic and quote" image_id="20618" image_id_filename="Mohr_William-.jpg" id="content_3ew2iyfdq" post_id="20613" semplice_styles_background_color="transparent" semplice_styles_background_image="" semplice_styles_background_size="auto" semplice_styles_background_position="50% 0%" semplice_styles_background_repeat="no-repeat" semplice_styles_padding_top="0px" semplice_styles_padding_bottom="0px" semplice_styles_padding_left="0" semplice_styles_padding_right="0"]

"As an environmentalist and former professor, it is important to me that consumers know that there is a growing body of scientific knowledge that helps scientists make educated decisions on the safety of proteins, and that these decisions are just one of numerous safety evaluations implemented to ensure food safety."

[/ce_article_image_with_subhead]