The Story Behind the Approval of the First Bt Maize Product

  • Laura S. PrivalleEmail author
Part of the Women in Engineering and Science book series (WES)


One of the first products of agricultural biotechnology to be brought to market was a maize (corn) product that had built in protection against an insect pest. This was achieved by inserting a bacterial gene encoding a protein toxin into the corn genome. This product represented all the promise biotechnology brings to sustainable agriculture (lower inputs for farmers, less pesticide use, higher yields, etc.) as well as the uncertainty associated with the safety (when used as food or feed and to the environment) of genetically engineered crops. Many scientific and technical hurdles had to be overcome to create and identify the event that would bring value to the grower and be commercially viable. Demonstration of the safety of this product together with political, ethical, and economic issues all stood in the path between scientific success and global market acceptance. This was an exciting and challenging time. This is the inside story.


Selectable Marker Sustainable Agriculture Mycotoxin Contamination Conventional Field Monarch Butterfly 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Triangle ParkUSA

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