Biotech Updates

Test Shows Bt Corn Does not Affect Development of Bee Larva

January 13, 2012

Pollen from two types of Bt maize: MON 810 which produces a Bt protein that targets the European corn borer (ECB) and MON89034 x MON88017 that produces three different Bt proteins that target both the ECB and the Western corn rootworm were tested on the survival of bee larva. The study was conducted by University of Wurzburg scientists to assess environmental risk of the two GM corn on bees' larva which were previously done only on adult insects.

Results of the in vitro larval test developed by the scientists show that larvae that received Bt maize pollen survived until pupation, even with the combined Bt proteins, which are found in much greater concentrations in pollen than the Bt protein produced by MON810 maize. The survival rate of bee larvae fed on pollen from the conventional maize varieties was slightly lower and mortality rates observed in the bee larvae fed on Heliconia pollen were significantly higher The weight of the larvae shortly before pupation was not affected by the different types of maize pollen.

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