|Corn/maize field in South Dakota. Photo by Lars Plougmann (originally posted to Flickr as|
In the corn field],[CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
via Wikimedia Commons
These varieties have been genetically transformed to suffuse themselves with one or more artificial forms of insecticidal proteins modelled on those found in the soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, 'Bt'.
Bt crops are touted as needing less chemical insecticides: they are, therefore, safer for people and the environment, and are less expensive and more convenient for farmers. Nevertheless, nearly half of farmers who are choosing Bt maize this year are still intending to apply soil insecticides at planting time.