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When people ask my why I’m wearing my “I love GMOs” shirt, I like to talk about a little-known biotech success story: mycotoxins.
Biotech crops have dramatically reduced the prevalence of a toxic substance known as a mycotoxin often found on crops, which can be dangerous for people who eat it. Mycotoxins are produced by fungi that are able to enter a plant after insect damage. Globally, the FAO estimates that up to half of grains are affected by these naturally occurring toxins. They can harm our immune systems, slow growth, and cause cancer.
Their presence also leads to food waste, since contaminated food needs to be thrown away. Not only does this eliminate much-needed food, it also harms farmers’ profits. In short, there’s nothing good about mycotoxins.
Fortunately, though, a biotech variety of corn has been able to eliminate instances of mycotoxins.
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. . . .Using biotech corn to reduce mycotoxins has annual benefits of $23 million in the U.S. Those are some impressive results.
. . . . Biotech corn could make a big difference in Africa, where there is a major mycotoxin problem. In 2003, 120 Kenyans died after eating corn containing high levels of mycotoxins. In 2011, starving Kenyan farmers, who had lost their crops to drought, watched as 36,000 pounds of corn were destroyed due to mycotoxin contamination.
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Getting biotech corn into countries like Kenya could eliminate food waste, boost economic development, and help feed more hungry people. It may be an unsung benefit, but the impact could be revolutionary.
Read full, original post: GMOs Have “This One Weird Trick” for Eliminating Dangerous Mycotoxins