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Tom Eickoff, Ph.D.

Agronomic Systems Lead, Bayer Crop Science

Expert Bio

I was born and raised on a family farm in Nebraska, and received my Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Nebraska. Since joining Monsanto in 2007, I have held a variety of roles in our company’s Technology Development organization, focused on developing and delivering new technology in agriculture. I am currently the Agronomic Systems Lead at Bayer.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Showing 3 out of 3 results

Question

Q: what are the genes in genetically modified corn

Answered By Dirk Benson - May 06, 2015

A: GM corn traits are developed for a variety of reasons, but always to achieve a certain goal. For example, some GM corn traits may be for insect resistance for specific target pests, herbicide resistance for specific herbicides, or even characteristics for specific types of production, like ethanol. The Syngenta genes in GM corn are:            Cry1Ab (Insect resistance - lepidopteran)/PAT (phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase) (herbicide tolerance - glufosinate)          dmEPSPS (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3 [...]

Answered By Dr. Nicholas Storer - Mar 27, 2015

A: Corn contains about 50,000 genes, and through conventional breeding, corn breeders have created combinations of these genes to produce a crop that is highly useful within agricultural systems.  The tools of genetic engineering have enabled the addition of specific genes for new specific traits that cannot easily be developed through conventional breeding, such as season-long protection from feeding by insect pests and high levels of tolerance to specific herbicides.  For example, insecticidal proteins, such as Cry1F and Cry34/35Ab1, have been added using genes from the common soil b [...]

Answered By Tom Eickoff, Ph.D. - Mar 27, 2015

A: This is a good question and first, I would like to state that not all of the corn seed developed by Monsanto contains an inserted gene as some farmers prefer to plant conventional corn hybrids, and we continue to develop those seeds and make them available.  The ability to add specific beneficial genes to corn has enabled the use of additional tools to protect yield.  The type of genes that are added to genetically modified corn generally fall under three categories: herbicide tolerance, insect protection and drought stress protection.      Farmers have th [...]

Other

Question

Q: If pests are not interested in eating GMO then why should we be interested in eating and think that it is safe merely because those who stand to profit from it say so?

Answered By Tom Eickoff, Ph.D. - Oct 15, 2015

A: The use of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) organism and its insecticidal proteins to control insect pests has been a very effective tool in protecting the yield potential of various crops, in both organic and GMO cropping systems. The way in which GMO crops containing Bt genes protect themselves is not by causing the insects to avoid feeding on them, but in fact pest readily eat  Bt corn. The Bt protein is only effective in controlling the insect if the insect feeds on and ingests plant material that contains the insecticidal protein.   Bt is a very common bacterium that is found [...]

Answered By Tom Eickoff, Ph.D. - Oct 15, 2015

A: The use of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) organism and its insecticidal proteins to control insect pests has been a very effective tool in protecting the yield potential of various crops, in both organic and GMO cropping systems. The way in which GMO crops containing Bt genes protect themselves is not by causing the insects to avoid feeding on them, but in fact pest readily eat  Bt corn. The Bt protein is only effective in controlling the insect if the insect feeds on and ingests plant material that contains the insecticidal protein.   Bt is a very common bacterium that is found [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: If pests are not interested in eating GMO then why should we be interested in eating and think that it is safe merely because those who stand to profit from it say so?

Answered By Tom Eickoff, Ph.D. - Oct 15, 2015

A: The use of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) organism and its insecticidal proteins to control insect pests has been a very effective tool in protecting the yield potential of various crops, in both organic and GMO cropping systems. The way in which GMO crops containing Bt genes protect themselves is not by causing the insects to avoid feeding on them, but in fact pest readily eat  Bt corn. The Bt protein is only effective in controlling the insect if the insect feeds on and ingests plant material that contains the insecticidal protein.   Bt is a very common bacterium that is found [...]

Answered By Tom Eickoff, Ph.D. - Oct 15, 2015

A: The use of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) organism and its insecticidal proteins to control insect pests has been a very effective tool in protecting the yield potential of various crops, in both organic and GMO cropping systems. The way in which GMO crops containing Bt genes protect themselves is not by causing the insects to avoid feeding on them, but in fact pest readily eat  Bt corn. The Bt protein is only effective in controlling the insect if the insect feeds on and ingests plant material that contains the insecticidal protein.   Bt is a very common bacterium that is found [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety