This sweet corn was given a gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which acts as an insecticide. The obvious environmental benefit is that farmers do not need to spray the crop with chemical insecticides, which are associated with a host of health concerns, like cancer and developmental disabilities in children.
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The downside is that the insecticide gene is not selective, and kills pests right along with beneficial insects such as honeybees and monarch butterflies. However, research has absolved bt-corn of any relationship to colony collapse disorder, the syndrome that has wiped out bees.