|Contaminated maize in Africa - Image from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture|
(This article originally appeared on Forbes on 3/21/17)
There has been a breakthrough on a way to reduce the risk of a major form of cancer in the developing world. It involves corn genetically modified to "just say no" to the production of a carcinogenic toxin in its grain.
Have you heard of Aflatoxin? It is a major risk factor for cancer in the developing world. Aflatoxin is a natural chemical produced by a fungus. It is a highly toxic and is a very potent carcinogen in animal studies. Those of us in the developed world are fortunate in that a number of safeguards keep aflatoxin out of our animal feed and human food supplies. Unfortunately, in the developing world, people are not so well protected. In those regions aflatoxin contaminated foods are responsible for many poisonings, and high cancer rates. Researchers in Arizona have recently published a paper about a biotech crop breakthrough that could dramatically improve that situation.
|Maize (corn) in Africa (Image by Kate Holt/AusAID)|