Genetically Modified Corn Responds to ‘Pain’
Scientists in Australia have been successful in creating the world’s first case of plant perception in a recently created artificial strain of corn.
The corn, known as “XB59” has had DNA from mice incorporated into its own genetic makeup and was originally manufactured to become a new strain of superior, faster growing food crop.
The geneticists Ryan Jamison and Rhonda Carl recently published their paper, “Sensory perceptions in the GM corn XB59”, in Biotech of Tomorrow, a leading international peer reviewed journal. In it, they detail experiments done to show that the crops are able to associate ‘painful’ activities such as cutting or burning with death.
According to Jamison, “when [the plants] are exposed to harmful stimuli, they exhibit signs of withdrawal such as wilting or localised death”.
XB59 has been hailed within the GMO industry as a modern food crop, which is able to produce profitable produce twice as fast as traditional corn.
Despite its agricultural success, some groups have expressed apprehension towards what they perceive as “plant sentience”. Edna Krause, spokesperson for AIFN said in an interview with the Omicron that “the GMO industry must tread carefully when it comes to modifying crops. … This has the potential to create a whole new field of ethical violations.”
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