EPA has found Bt safe for use in environment

A May 22 letter regarding thousands deaths of livestock (not named) and sheep that consumed Bt cotton failed to name specific locations or the livestock. If this was so prevalent, why aren’t the specific type of livestock and the specific locations named?

Bt is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that, when sprayed on plants, is toxic to certain pest insects. Recently, scientists have developed techniques by which traits from the Bt bacterium, including its ability to resist pests, can be introduced into a plant.

It is difficult to understand the letter writer’s problems regarding Bt when the Environmental Protection Agency has found Bt to be safe for use in the environment, no known effects with mammals or other wildlife such as birds and fish. Nor does it have any chronic toxicity or any carcinogenic effects, and it breaks down under the ultraviolet light of the sun. It has not been shown to persist in the digestive systems of mammals and there is no indication that Bt causes reproductive effects or birth defects in mammals.

The letter seems like scaremongering to me.

Don Gerbig