Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup
It may well be that the Bt gene is in every cell in the plant, but that is several biological processes short of the *toxin* being in every cell of the plant. Since the toxin is a protein, you've got to get through transcription and translation before it's even present. I don't know what expression system is controlling expression of that gene, so it may well be broadly expressed, or it may be a tissue specific expression. Then, even if the toxin is expressed in every cell of the plant, there are really good (scientifically based) reasons to think that it is not a problem for humans - short term or long term. For the toxin to be effective, it must first become soluble in the gut, which has been repeatedly demonstrated to require an alkaline gut pH (why it works on insects and not humans), then it has to go through a pH driven conformational change (again requiring alkaline pH), then it has to interact with and be modified by host-specific proteases to convert the "raw" form to the active form, then it has to interact with host specific receptors to form complexes which are inserted into the gut wall causing the eventual physiological response. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1857359/) Bt toxins are not even broad based in their effects on insects. Due to the host-specific nature of a couple of the steps, Bt toxins only affect certain classes of insects, depending on the Bt species from which the toxin was isolated.
Originally Posted by Michael Bush
On top of all that, to produce HFCS, the corn kernels are subjected to high heat and strong acid in order to convert the starches into simple sugars. Both of those things are VERY hard on proteins, and tend to destroy them quite quickly. So, the chances of much protein even making it into the final HFCS product is pretty small.
As far as long term effects go, sure, anything is possible. But, the most likely effect would be the same as is in insect guts, and that is a VERY short term effect, which would be noticed quite quickly.
I deeply respect a lot of the writing you do and your experience as a beekeeper, but I think that in this case, the implication you make about Bt being present in HFCS and being able to do *anything* in a human digestive tract needs some evidence to back it up. Otherwise, it's pure hand-waving speculation.