Seems that a while back in the 90's some scientists in Britain were playing around and decided that scorpions have a nice way of killing the insects they eat, they sting them with their stingers full of a specific toxin. So with money from who knows where, they isolated the gene that made the toxin. They worked on it a bit and made it so they believe it to be non-toxic to humans and put it into some bacteria and pumped out a whole bunch of scorpion venom. They sprayed it on a cabbage field and they reached the magical number that scientists try to achieve for any new insecticide, LD50. This is the point that a toxin kills off half the insects that it comes into contact. The concentration used must be low enough to be economical to use, but with that wonderful kill ratio for the targeted insects, and not for the humans that will ultimately eat the crop. Not so much to worry about for animal feed, agribusiness doesn't care at what levels toxins are feed to them, they don't have to live long lives, bear and raise more consumers, I mean children.
LD50. How well does it kill. And what is the cost for that measured kill ratio. It is a complex formula that involves profit more than anything else. If the insecticide can't perform profitably, then it matters little how effective it is, how toxic or non-toxic it is, or long term effects might be or anything else. Profitability. Here's the scary thing though, and in fact is one of the problems with ALL Genetically Modified Crops; that the kill ratio for Bt toxin crops has never been LD100. What this means to any cognizant person is that when an insect eats a Bt modified GM crop, some will survive.
Those that survive breed their resistance to the toxin to their offspring. I learned about this process in grade school. It is called "Natural Selection" and I thought that all the scientists that work for the big gene tech agribusinesses would have learned about it as well.
Maybe that is just one aspect of their creations that they want to overlook.
New research into the Bt toxin that has been inserted into most of the GM crops in the world right now has shown that scientists incorrectly assumed that the Bt toxin itself was harmless to humans. They are being proven wrong about that aspect of their mad scientists game as well. (Bt toxin and humans) This is the study showing how Bt toxin does in fact harm humans.
Now, scientists are wanting to take this very low LD50 scorpion toxin and to Genetically Modify cabbage plants to have this particular poison inside every cell of the plant. With a kill ratio that is less than 100%. With the same problem that any normal thinking person could foresee, that insects will eventually develop resistance to the toxin. And eventually it will become ineffective. And other, traditional insecticides will have to be sprayed on the crops. Like neonicotinide toxins that are destroying the environment.
And all this will be done with the weird research that showed that scorpion toxin was harmless when exposed to human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Cancer cells, not even normal human cells from the digestive system that will be exposed to the toxin, or to cells from the heart, lungs, pancreas, liver, kidneys, brain, eyes, or, well, any normal cells.
I don't think that they have this particular measurement for any toxin, although I believe that it should become part of all this type of scientific research. It is the LD-number for human deaths. How much, at what concentration, length of exposure via ingestion, rate of death, method death expresses itself, ability of subjects to continue to be viable consumers of products containing toxin as instrument of death, and the big one, long term cost of liability should the connection between ingestion of toxin and death be revealed.
Now wouldn't that be a fun part of every application for new GM plants to the FDA for approval?