Why should you buy organic corn?

Dow Chemical Company has given us another reason to buy organic corn.  Dow Chemical Company is the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world.  Dow’s first products were poisons: bleach and potassium bromide.  Eventually, Dow expanded to include agricultural chemicals like herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides.  But a problem arose: the chemicals Dow had created were not only killing and mutating insects; they were killing and mutating farmers’ crops as well. (See photo above.)

So Dow entered the food industry and genetically engineered seeds to produce plants and bear fruit that appear healthy even after exposure to Dow’s chemical toxins.  Their most recent creation, Dow Corn, is resistant to 2,4-D, the powerful herbicide that was a major ingredient in Agent Orange.

Why do we need corn to be resistant to 2,4-D if we no longer use it on crops because we now know it’s so damaging to human health?

Because we’re spraying crops with it anyway.

Read this New York Times article and decide for yourself:  “Dow Corn, Resistant to a Weed Killer, Runs Into Opposition.”

Photo via: Corn exposed to Dow’s herbicide 2,4-D.  Dow’s new GMO corn is able to withstand the same exposure — but show no physical mutations.

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Improved Sutures & Prosthetic Limbs

If the poor reputation of genetic engineering is leaving you depressed, you have to read this: Notre Dame professor Malcolm Fraser’s team of researchers is using their transgenically-engineered silkworms to produce silk that is strong enough for “sutures, artificial limbs and parachutes.”  That’s the power of genetic engineering in the right hands!

Although silkworms lend themselves to farming, we have long known that spiders have the strongest silk — with tensile strength comparable to steel!  But spiders’ sprawling webs are unwieldy when compared with silkworm’s dense cocoons, and spiders tend to be cannibalistic and territorial, making farming difficult.  Try as they might, no one had found a commercially-viable way to harvest spider silk.

So Fraser’s team engineered silkworms with both silkworm and spider proteins to produce the best of both worlds.  If the transgenic silkworms’ silk is used to create parachutes, this story of genetic engineering could prove — literally — uplifting.

Watch the video here.