Baltimore, MD — Johns Hopkins Medical School announced today that a study of insecticide-carrying GMO seeds has created a niche for new bacterial growth. By killing insects, which reduced the bacterial growth on corn silks, a new strain of Salmonella has evolved. The strain has mutated unchecked for years due to a patent held by AgriBiz.
GMO technologies have patented “new life” in the form of genetically altered seeds. Due to the courts’ decisions, farmers have been forced to buy GMO seeds or leave fields fallow. This has exacerbated the bacterial growth due to the lack of botanical variety in cornfields.
The original study, funded by AgriBiz, sought to demonstrate that engineering insecticide-treated genes provided advantages for growers of feed and seedcorn. In early stages of the study, crops grown with insecticide-laced genes grew faster, with fuller heads of corn that could be harvested more easily due to a drying quality that occurred in the tassel.
The drying tassel led scientists to explore corn silks more closely. Silks act as the stamen carrying pollen down the tassel to each kernel. Examination of the silks showed how bacteria makes its way to kernels. Though present in the original study, bacterial growth was then dismissed as anomalous. Today, the lead researcher claimed the dismissal of that detail was due to it not being the focus of the previous study. Pursuing it at that stage would have meant unnecessary delays from the perspective of the funders, AgriBiz.
However, early results published on the Internet were noticed by independent bacteriologists at Johns Hopkins. They were looking to identify the cause of recent sweet corn recalls. While it was seed corn, not sweet corn, which carried the GMO insecticide modification, the spread of such factors by wind and pollen-carrying insects is well documented.
At this stage, bacteriologists are only halfway to a possible link between recent recalls and insecticide-laced GMO corn seed. They have proven that corn provides a rich environment for growing this new strain of bacteria. They have yet to document a link between the GMO seed and recent recalls due to food-borne illnesses. The new bacterial strain has similar properties but is not identical to a strain documented by the CDC. More research is warranted.
The Surgeon General’s office was unwilling to comment at this time and requested additional time to study the results of the Johns Hopkins research before speaking to the matter. A spokesperson for the CDC admitted that if the two bacterial strains are from a common source, warnings about corn consumption could follow.
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