Genetically Modified Corn Approved for Ethanol Production!

Another scary day for us humans here on planet earth… and once again, all driven by profit!

Syngenta SeedsA type of corn that is genetically engineered to make it easier to convert into ethanol was approved for commercial growing by the Department of Agriculture.

The decision, announced Friday, came in the face of objections from corn millers and others in the food industry, who warned that if the industrial corn cross-pollinated with or were mixed with corn used for food, it could lead to crumbly corn chips, soggy cereal, loaves of bread with soupy centers and corn dogs with inadequate coatings

Production tests of Syngenta Seeds Inc.’s new amylase corn at Western Plains Energy LLC showed an 8 percent increase in ethanol production and an 8 percent decrease in natural gas use. It’s enough to make Steve McNinch, general manager and CEO of the Oakley, Kan., plant, never want to go back to a liquid amylase enzyme ever again. “What that means for us is more profits, with less expense,” he said. “And there are no ‘gotchas’ for the plant either.”

Syngenta announced Feb. 11 that it had received full deregulation from the USDA for corn amylase Event 3272, which will be sold under the Enogen seed brand. The corn–which has been a decade or so in the making–has an alpha-amylase enzyme engineered right into it, said Jack Bernens, head of technology acceptance for Syngenta Seeds. It’s the first genetically modified corn seed tailor made for the ethanol industry.

I can’t help feeling it would be better to use the time, money and effort spent on genetic research to find a more efficient way to process the natural products already available – as mentioned by the corn millers and food industry, if this get mixed up and cross pollinated, we could potentially loose a valuable food source!

Source:
New York Times – U.S. Approves Corn Modified for Ethanol
Ethanol Producer – Syngenta corn increases ethanol yield, reduces natural gas use
myAgrisure – Japan and Taiwan Approve Syngenta’s Enogen™ Corn Amylase Trait for Import

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