Biotechnology is in a mad rush to take over the earth, and is willing to stop at no cost. Researchers have taken the poison gene from scorpion tails and have combined it with cabbage. The cabbage has the scorpion poison engineered in every cell. Even though they claim that it’s safe and is said to give result in less pesticide use, but logic and history says otherwise. Who will wake from the insane mating between GMOs and scorpio ?
Get ready for genetically engineered cabbages that come completes with their own scorpion poison, just for you to eat. They are normal cabbages but instead of being treated with pesticides, scorpion venom from the tail is inserted into them.
A pesticide made with scorpion poison genetically engineered into a virus was first tested back in 1994. Interesting enough, the scientists who sprayed the test field wore full body suits to protect them from this “harmless” poison. The irony here is the developers themselves did not trust it!
In the newer generation of scorpion poison in genetic engineering, genes from the scorpion, Androctonus australus hector,that contains 70 amino acids and cases necrosis and tissue damage is used for production of poison that are being genetically engineered into cabbages. The goal is to produce them for public consumption.
What is the main reason to make this venomous cabbage?
This genetically modified cabbage will require much less pesticide than conventionally grown cabbage. Weird enough, if pesticides are injected into plants, every cell in the plant will contain the pesticide. But doesn’t that mean the consumer will also consume the pesticide?
These genetically modified cabbages will produce poison that kills caterpillars when they bite leaves but the toxin is modified so it isn’t harmful to humans. It is not even sure that the GMO cabbage will effectively kill insects as the study on its toxicity states that its effectiveness is limited by ingestion. It is likely that sprays will still be used in coincidence with the genetically modified cabbage this gives the consumer a double dose of toxins. Only time will tell, but on the outset it looks quite possible.
Here are some consquences of using this GMO:
The genetic modification can harm cabbage plants by infecting non GMO populations. The virus can easily mutate to infect other species of plant and the infection can be harmful to the other plant life.
With decrease in insect populations, the entire ecosystem will be altered. Predators will go hungry and their populations will also decrease. The balance of the nature will be tainted.
The virus can alter other species which could eventually harm humans.
- Costs less to provide yearly crops
- Reduces pest attacks and damage caused by pests
- Reduces amount of pesticide usage
- Genetically modified organisms can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally
Then is it Safe to use?
A study on the scorpion toxin AAiT, which is poisonous to insects, is completely safe for humans. Sadly, any testing done with the poison was not done on normal cells but on breast cancer cells.
With such uncertainty over the safety of this poison is it likely to get a nod of approval from governing bodies? We can only say that history might repeats itself.
But with the lax regulations and the FDA’s history of stamping approvals for genetically modified crops, we are not confident that anything will get in the way of this latest science effort with capitalistic undertones.