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      Scientific Opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect resistant maize 1507 : Scientific Opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on maize 1507

      EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

      EFSA Journal

      Wiley

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          Areawide suppression of European corn borer with Bt maize reaps savings to non-Bt maize growers.

          Transgenic maize engineered to express insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has become widely adopted in U.S. agriculture. In 2009, Bt maize was planted on more than 22.2 million hectares, constituting 63% of the U.S. crop. Using statistical analysis of per capita growth rate estimates, we found that areawide suppression of the primary pest Ostrinia nubilalis (European corn borer) is associated with Bt maize use. Cumulative benefits over 14 years are an estimated $3.2 billion for maize growers in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with more than $2.4 billion of this total accruing to non-Bt maize growers. Comparable estimates for Iowa and Nebraska are $3.6 billion in total, with $1.9 billion for non-Bt maize growers. These results affirm theoretical predictions of pest population suppression and highlight economic incentives for growers to maintain non-Bt maize refugia for sustainable insect resistance management.
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            Insect resistance to Bt crops: evidence versus theory.

            Evolution of insect resistance threatens the continued success of transgenic crops producing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins that kill pests. The approach used most widely to delay insect resistance to Bt crops is the refuge strategy, which requires refuges of host plants without Bt toxins near Bt crops to promote survival of susceptible pests. However, large-scale tests of the refuge strategy have been problematic. Analysis of more than a decade of global monitoring data reveals that the frequency of resistance alleles has increased substantially in some field populations of Helicoverpa zea, but not in five other major pests in Australia, China, Spain and the United States. The resistance of H. zea to Bt toxin Cry1Ac in transgenic cotton has not caused widespread crop failures, in part because other tactics augment control of this pest. The field outcomes documented with monitoring data are consistent with the theory underlying the refuge strategy, suggesting that refuges have helped to delay resistance.
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              Insect resistance management in GM crops: past, present and future.

              Transgenic plants expressing insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) were first commercialized in 1996 amid concern from some scientists, regulators and environmentalists that the widespread use of Bt crops would inevitably lead to resistance and the loss of a 'public good,' specifically, the susceptibility of insect pests to Bt proteins. Eight years later, Bt corn and cotton have been grown on a cumulative area >80 million ha worldwide. Despite dire predictions to the contrary, resistance to a Bt crop has yet to be documented, suggesting that resistance management strategies have been effective thus far. However, current strategies to delay resistance remain far from ideal. Eight years without resistance provides a timely opportunity for researchers, regulators and industry to reassess the risk of resistance and the most effective strategies to preserve Bt and other novel insect-resistant crops in development.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                EFSA Journal
                EFSA Journal
                Wiley
                18314732
                October 2012
                October 2012
                October 25 2012
                : 10
                : 10
                : 2933
                Article
                10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2933
                © 2012

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1

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