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~Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1715-1780)

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Term Definition
Bt brinjal
Bt eggplant

eggplanteggplant genetically engineered to contain a pesticide (a Bt toxin) specific to the Eggplant Fruit and Shoot Borer, a pest that causes devastating crop damage in countries throughout tropical Asia and Africa. Farmers growing Bt brinjal achieve good yields without applying toxic pesticides or harming beneficial insects. Bt brinjal is India's first genetically engineered crop plant.

Bt corn

corn genetically engineered to contain a pesticide (a Bt toxin) specific to corn boring insect species. By planting Bt corn, farmers often decrease yield losses that were formerly tolerated. In addition to the direct environmental benefit of reducing pesticide use, planting Bt corn has the indirect health benefit of lowering mycotoxin levels in the harvested grain.

Bt cotton

cotton genetically engineered to contain a pesticide (a Bt toxin) specific to the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), an agricultural pest that causes five billion US dollars worth of crop damage each year and serious distress to farmers in countries like India. By planting Bt cotton, farmers can significantly reduce the application levels of broad-spectrum pesticides, thus helping to maintain populations of beneficial insects, which are not harmed by the toxin.

Bt toxin

a pest-specific protein toxin produced by the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (different strains of B. thuringiensis produce different toxins specific to different pest species). Bt toxins have been used as pest control agents in organic agriculture for more than 50 years. These proteins can also be expressed in crop plants like cotton and corn. Bt crops can greatly reduce the application levels of broad-spectrum pesticides, and thus help maintain populations of beneficial insects, which are not harmed by the toxin. Bt crops often decrease yield losses that were previously tolerated.

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