Environmental Benefits of Genetically Modified Crops

Gassmann research is strong reminder of need for comprehensive IPM. (2011). Monsanto. http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/gassmann-research-reminder-of-need-for-comprehensive-ipm.aspx

Corn is a crop plant that is commonly genetically modified and grown in large monocultures. Gassman research is strong reminder of need for comprehensive IPM. (2011). Monsanto. Retrieved from http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/gassmann-research-reminder-of-need-for-comprehensive-ipm.aspx

Julia Wendelken, Sustainable Horticulture

Anthony Alicea, Animal Science

Andrew Herman, Building and Construction Technology

Although a current buzzword, biotechnology is not necessarily a new concept or practice. In fact, people have been manipulating crops since the beginning of domestic agriculture (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010). Over thousands of years, plant-breeding efforts transformed from random and hopeful experimentation to exacting and decisive procedures. Recently, scientists introduced transgenic varieties of common crop plants (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010). Transgenic plants are made in a laboratory, where scientists isolate a gene from one organism and then insert the gene into the plant (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010). Transgenic crops, also referred to as genetically modified organisms (GM or GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) crops, are crop plants that express a gene from an entirely different organism (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010). Genetic modification gives a whole new meaning, and subsequent controversy, to the word biotechnology (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010). Biotechnological development in plant breeding and crop production is typically fueled by the wants and needs of people for profit, but in the face of modern environmental crises, biotechnology must also be used to mitigate the environmental impact of conventional agriculture systems (Pollan, 2001).

Modern, conventional agriculture has developed a tendency toward large-scale monoculture production as a relatively small population of farmers strive to accommodate the ever-increasing volume demands, consistency standards of the market, and the tastes and preferences that consumers have become accustomed to (Pollan, 2001). Monoculture is the cultivation of a single variety of a single species, often en masse (Pollan, 2001). The lack of genetic diversity in a monoculture decreases evolutionary development and leaves crops more susceptible to injury by pests and diseases (Pollan, 2001). In order to maintain yields, modern agriculture has developed an increasing dependence on pesticides for protection of crop plants (Pollan, 2001). What is more, the vehicles and equipment employed to apply pesticides routinely emit carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to the global issue of climate change (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). As a result, modern agricultural systems inadvertently jeopardize environmental integrity and resources. Genetically modified crops can be used to mitigate the negative effects that agriculture inflicts on the environment; further research, development, and expansion of genetically modified crops must continue in order to use genetic modification to its greatest potential.

Uncertainty is an undeniable characteristic of genetic modification during this early stage of development (Pollan, 2001). Genetic modification can be regarded in the same manner as any technology, it has the potential to both help and harm. In particular, many people are skeptical about the environmental effects of genetically modified crops. Organizations like the Non GMO Project declare that genetically modified crops are outright bad for the environment (GMO Facts, n.d.). However, the consensus of scientific studies conducted on genetically modified crops suggests the opposite (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). Since their introduction in the mid-1990’s, data spanning almost twenty years of peer reviewed, scientific studies advocate that genetically modified crops have decreased conventional pesticide use and have reduced agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). Additionally, many scientific studies suggest that genetically modified crops impose no negative effects on non-target organisms (Tian et al., 2013).

Non-target organisms share the crop environment, but are not the intended victims of genetically modified plants (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010).  Crop plants that theoretically pose the greatest risk to non-target organisms are plants that have been genetically modified to express Bt crystalline proteins (Bt Cry proteins) (Tian et al., 2013).  Several strains of the naturally occurring soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produce specific proteins that are toxic to a limited number of caterpillar, fungus gnat, shore fly species (Dreistadt, 2011). Bt is an effective pesticide because it disrupts the digestive processes of these insects (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010). Bt is a preferred control agent in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems that aim to reduce synthetic pesticide use (Dreistadt, 2011).  Bt is also a commonly used pesticide in organic production (Byczynski, 2008).  Genetic engineers took the insecticidal properties of Bt one step further by inserting a gene from Bt directly into the genetic makeup of crop plants (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010). In effect, Bt genetically modified crop plants produce an insecticidal defense against select pest species (Taiz & Zeiger, 2010).

To assess their safety, Bt crops have been evaluated over a wide range of non-target organisms including pollinators, fungi, foliar insects, and aquatic insects. Studies conducted on bees show no negative effects on non-target pollinators (Arpaia et al., 2011). In “Foraging Activity of Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.) on Bt-Expressing Eggplants”, Arpaia et al. (2011) concluded that bees were not deterred from pollinating Bt eggplants, but were actually more attracted to the pollen of Bt genetically modified eggplants (Arpaia et al., 2011).  In a similar study, Lima, Pires, Guedes, and Campos (2013) reported no negative effects to the health of bee larvae that were fed a diet of pollen mixed with Bt Cry proteins (Lima et al., 2013).  Declining pollinator populations is a widespread concern linked to pesticide use, but Bt crops do not demonstrate a threat to pollinators (Lima et al., 2013).  Studies were also conducted on non-target fungi that have symbiotic relationships with plants (Stefani & Bérubé, 2006). In “Evaluation of Foliar Fungal Endophyte Incidence in Field-Grown Transgenic Bt White Spruce Trees”, Stefani and Bérubé (2006) reported similar populations of non-target fungi living in the needles of Bt genetically modified spruce trees and unmodified spruce trees (Stefani & Bérubé, 2006). This data suggests that the non-target fungi were seemingly unaffected by the Bt genetic modification of spruce trees (Stefani & Bérubé, 2006).  Tian et al. (2013) investigated the potential effects of Bt genetic modification on non-target, predatory green lacewing insects that were given a diet of other insects that fed on Bt crops (Tian et al., 2013).  Tian et al. (2013) determined that Bt genetically modified broccoli, corn, and cotton crops do not pose a threat to green lacewing insects because Bt Cry proteins degrade through the food chain (Tian et al., 2013).  In “Prospective Formulation of Environmental Risk Asssesments: Probabilistic Screening for Cry1A(b) Maize Risk to Aquatic Insects”, Wolt and Peterson (2012) reported no risk to sensitive aquatic insects living in ponds, reservoirs, and wetlands (Wolt & Peterson, 2012). An overwhelming consensus among studies asserts that Bt genetically modified crops do not appear to pose any threat to non-target organisms.

Perhaps the most important reason society should be excited for the use of genetically modified crops is the potential to stop the use of pesticides. We now rationalize that pesticides are harmful, and many would conclude they are dangerous for the organisms that consume or come in contact with them. Why use genetically modified crops you may ask; why not just go organic? Resources are simply limited for organic farming. Organic farming requires more upkeep leading large producers of crops to drastically increase their prices. Instead these large producers find it easier to apply pesticides; and understandably so. Producers maximize profits due to less pest related loss. Unfortunately we have learned pesticides cause more problems than previously believed.

Studies have shown the Bt proteins produced by genetically modified organisms degrade quickly in the environment. Worries of runoff from fields that could contaminate water sources have been a large portion of the argument against genetically modified crops.  Dr. Jeffery Wolt disproves this theory in a study using a typical environmental risk assessment (ERA), a scientific method to address whether a substance is a risk to the environment and the biome (Wolt & Peterson, 2012). This is done by identifying the highest percentage of Cry protein that could be possible in an aquatic environment. The authors then recorded the degradation of this concentration over the course of 60 days (Wolt & Peterson, 2012). To guarantee the most accurate results he tipped the favor of the experiment to the anti-GMO side by doing a few things. First he and his colleagues calculated which part of the plant contained the highest percentage of Cry protein.  Thus increasing the concentration of contamination. Secondly Wolt and Peterson used the 90th percentile of concentration averages. Resulting in having an above average concentration of Cry protein as baseline. As Wolt and Peterson (2012) predicted the dilution and protein degradation involved lowered the concentration values. He used three different body of water types, a farm pond, a reservoir, and a semi-aquatic wetland to enable diversity in his testing. In all 3 cases the concentration degraded fairly rapidly over the course of 4 days, and was almost non existent at 60 days (Wolt & Peterson, 2012). Especially in the reservoirs, dilution is the major factor, causing the accelerated drop in concentration levels. In the semi-aquatic wetland to measure the worst case scenario Wolt and Peterson tested the water at the edge of the wetland because it has the highest concentration due to direct contact. The results proved degradation of the genetically engineered Bt toxin in nearby bodies of water to be very quick (Wolt & Peterson, 2012). This is important because it eliminates the concern these toxins would build up in the environment overtime.

Pesticides have been through countless studies and all proved to have negative effects on the environment and the people in contact (The Problem with Pesticides, 2010).  We can conclude Bt toxin is a safer alternative from the research currently available. The effects on non-target organisms has been proven multiple times to be very minimal or none. People can not claim the same for pesticides, as they have proven in studies to have major effects. Syngenta a company that produces pesticides, including a product atrazine; 75 million pounds are used in agriculture yearly (Environmental Impacts, n.d.) Currently it is second most used pesticide in agriculture. Unfortunately atrazine degrades very slowly and contaminates many bodies of water all over the midwestern United States. The manufacturers call it safe for the environment, but other tests have proven this to be untrue (Environmental Impacts, n.d).

Amphibians are good models to see the impact of a substance in the environment. This is due to them living in water and their ability to absorb through their skin. Shockingly frogs raised in atrazine concentration levels much lower than the ones measured in waterways around the pesticide use began to mutate. A large quantity of the male frogs began to grow ovaries. This finding was brought up, but Syngenta being a large corporation hired their own scientists to prove this was untrue. Syngenta is the largest chemical producer in America, and if pesticides are outlawed they will lose a vast percentage of their profits (Environmental Impacts, n.d).

Another example of pesticide issues on ecosystem occurs in the Florida Everglades. There are a large number of tomato fields, that use endosulfan, a pesticide (Environmental Impacts, n.d). The runoff from these fields enter the ecosystem of the everglades. Many tiny fish and invertebrates are poisoned and die, if the runoff concentration is too high. The other animals, like birds and alligators, and larger fish remain unharmed directly. Indirectly they are seriously affecting an ecosystem. These small fish and invertebrates are the food source for many of the inhabitants of the everglades, such as storks, and egrets. Both are listed as endangered. This causes lack of food in this particular area. Soon the birds will leave the area to find other options. When the birds leave alligators lose their source of food and then they leave. It increases competition in other areas and makes survival more difficult for these animals (Environmental Impacts, n.d).

Another benefit with converting to genetically modified crops is the reduction of herbicide use, and use of reduced tillage. Tillage strategy has changed drastically over the years; before herbicides farmers would till their fields removing all leftovers from the crops after harvest and turn the soil to disrupt growing weeds. This enabled a fresh field of soil with no weeds before planting; the use of herbicides changed this practice. Applying herbicides results in reduced weeds. In turn reduced tillage became common practice, which in turn cut down costs of labor and running of equipment (Fernandez-Cornejo, Hallahan, Nehring, & Wechsler, 2012). We now know more benefits exist for implementing reduced tilling. The Purdue Conservative Technology Information Center claims that reduced tillage saves fuel, reduces machinery wear, improves soil tilth thus easier for crops to establish roots, increases organic matter, improves water availability, reduces soil erosion, and improves water and air quality (Top 10 Conservation Tillage Benefits, n.d). When herbicide resistant seeds became available it caused a drastic decrease in herbicide use.

Herbicides are simply plant killing chemicals. The negatives of herbicides are not as drastic as pesticides but a farm using large amounts of herbicides do affect the environment around them. The vegetation around the sprayed area is killed from the herbicides. Researchers noticed that birds seemed to disappear from farms that apply herbicides. Despite not directly affecting birds, contact encourages them to change environments thus increasing competition, and affecting ecosystems. Some believe herbicides are causing more harm than the industry believes. So far research has not really backed a huge case against them. We believe genetically modifying plants to become herbicide resistant is more beneficial than relying on constant herbicide application (Fernandez-Cornejo et al., 2012).

Since we are not sure of the current and long term effects of herbicide use, we should be cautious and reduce using them. Herbicide resistant crops give all the benefits of reduced tillage, as well as reducing the amount of herbicides we are spraying. Genetically modified plants are safer than the public believes, and we need to educate people to understand exactly what they are (Wolt & Perterson, 2012). The evidence is strong in favor for the use of genetic modification and I believe an informed person will decide to support the use of genetically modified crops.

In recent years, the world has seen a push towards reducing our impact on the environment. People around the globe realize that global warming is real and it is a threat to our future. There are many contributors to this phenomenon with carbon emissions being the largest. While much of the focus in reducing carbon emissions is with transportation and energy production, agriculture is a huge industry that can also improve with changes. The use of genetically modified crops is a proven way to lower carbon emissions throughout the farming process (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014).

The agricultural industry relies on a multitude of mechanical systems in order to work such large fields efficiently. Important tasks such as spraying pesticide and tilling the soil consume huge amounts of fuel throughout the grow cycle. This fuel is combusted and converted to carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is directly linked to global warming. Throughout the world, heavy farm equipment is run excessively in order to achieve the highest yields possible, providing the crop with a high level of maintenance. This is where genetically modified crops can make a difference.

As stated before, GMO products reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides. In the study “GM crops: Global Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts 1996- 2012”, Barfoot & Brookes (2014) observed genetically modified crops, herbicide tolerant (HT) crops, and the “no-till”(NT) and “reduced-till”(RT) farming systems that are achievable through their use (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). “The GM HT (Herbicide tolerant) technology has improved growers ability to control competing weeds, reducing the need to rely on soil cultivation and seed-bed preparation, as means to getting good levels of weed control” (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014 p. 120). Tilling requires much energy, according to the authors, the estimated amount of diesel fuel used per hectare of corn crop in the U.S in 2013 with conventional tilling methods is 54.5 liters while ridge-till, a reduced-till method, is 36.39 liters and no-till being 30.09 liters (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). This shows how using GMO plants allows for more efficient tilling than conventional crops. “A comparison of GM HT versus conventional production systems shows that in 2012, the average tillage fuel consumption on the GM HT planted area was 41.4 litres/ha compared to 53.7 litres/ha for the conventional crop” (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014 p. 137). This savings of fuel means less carbon emissions created.

Another way farming contributes to global warming is from the release of carbon from the soil. Different tilling practices determine the amount of carbon released with conventional tilling emitting the most while NT emits the least.  Barfoot & Brookes (2014), state that since 1998 due to the increase in use of RT and NT systems, there has been a savings of 22,145 million kg of carbon dioxide that would have been released into the atmosphere from U.S maize crops.

The authors conclude this study with a table that equates permanent carbon dioxide savings to the number many 2000’s family cars removed from the road for a year. This results in a way to compare carbon emissions from fuel use to those of carbon sequestration. For GM HT soybean grown in Argentina, the fuel savings over conventional farming methods is equal to 327 cars taken off the road for a year while the carbon sequestration savings is equal to 4972 cars (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). This shows how the use of GM crops allow for huge reductions in emissions which in turn can lead to the end of global warming.

Agriculture has a vital role in everyone’s life, it is an industry that is required to grow with the human population. In order to feed the world, advancements in farming are necessary to increase efficiency throughout the process. With a limited amount of space for crops coinciding with environmental concerns, genetically modified organisms are our answer to higher yield demands. Non-GMO crops have a dependency on conventional pesticides and herbicides to protect monocultures leading to over application and leaching into the environment. This high amount of maintenance throughout the farming process further damages the environment with carbon emissions from combustion engines, a major cause of global warming. Traditional farming methods are not sustainable and this is an issue that needs immediate attention.

With GMO’s being a current issue, many people of the general public do not support their use because of their own beliefs.  The most popular opinion on genetically modified crops is that they are unnatural and therefore dangerous.  This idea comes from the lack of understanding of what GMOs are.  While people think GMO is just another artificial and processed food, it is nearly the opposite. Another opinion held by those who do not support GMOs is that traditional farming techniques are fine the way they are.  These people do not understand how dependent on herbicides and pesticides conventional farming is.  It is these chemicals that cause the most damage to the environment.  Using GMO crops allows for less herbicides and pesticides to be used because of their ability to target specific pests naturally.  This helps avoid the contamination of soil and bodies of water that is common in conventional agriculture.

Based on the overwhelming consensus derived from research and experts opinions, we can safely say that genetically modified technology is a smart alternative to aid in declining our carbon footprint (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). The majority of scientists beliefs are genetic modification with proper application and research will be beneficial to mankind. It is agreed every product should be tested individually. You can not claim all results will be safe as with everything in life. All forms of technology have the potential to do good as well as cause harm. It would be foolish to ignore the potential benefits over fear of harm especially because current research concludes they are less harmful than alternatives (Environmental Impacts, n.d).  As a planet we need to further our research on genetic modification, develop strategies on their usage, as well as expanding the amount of genetically modified crops produced.

Genetically modified crops have support due to the difference in damage done by GM crops compared to conventional pesticides on the environment. To ensure this is true we need to continue to research and enhance our understandings of the effects long term. The ability to confirm the safety of GMO is the first step in converting others to embrace the technology.

Along with safety, development of new GM technology can result in endless possibilities. We can develop nutrient enriched crops for the hungry, develop new crop strains that grow in environments normally not suitable for them, It could be preventing certain genes that cause disease, it could even be making the perfect vegetable. All of this can be done with genetic modification. With continued research genetic modification can be helpful for society for years to come (Wolt and Peterson, 2012).

With increased support the expansion of using more GM crops will mitigate a good amount of the carbon emissions produced by agriculture. Planting crops that do not need the ground tilled beforehand, as well as not having pesticides applied saves a great deal of fuel, time, and energy. Farmers will have an easier work schedule, better soil from reduced tillage, a healthier environment due to not dealing with pesticides, as well as saving money on fuel costs (Fernandez-Cornejo et al., 2012). On top of that they will also be aiding in the lowering of the earth’s carbon emissions. Carbon emissions is an issue almost all Americans are aware of but not many do anything about it. Using GM crops is a way to lower our carbon emissions and the more farmers using them the lower our carbon emissions will become (Barfoot & Brookes, 2014). Genetic Modification will not singlehandedly fix our problem, but if implemented will aid in taking a first step in combating our rising carbon emissions.

All in all genetic modification is not harmful to the environment based on the evidence we so far have gathered; in fact it hypothesizes that they offer environmental benefits such as lowering carbon emissions, reducing pesticides, and runoff products are safer for non-target organisms within the ecosystem. Reducing tillage, as well as not having the need to apply pesticides shrinks the carbon emissions that farms put out drastically. Most farms use diesel fuel which is not a very clean burning fuel, so the less work that needs to be done to the fields the better for the environment.

Pesticides have been known to be dangerous for years. We should be reducing the amount of pesticides used any chance we receive. GMO’s have the potential to save the dying bees as well as improve the safety of our farmers. Pesticides have been known to be very harmful to non-target organisms, as well as affecting the ecosystem around the farm drastically (Environmental Impacts, n.d). GM plants do not harm the surrounding environments thus making them a much better option. GMO crops will not be a cure all in the world of agriculture, other practices need to be changed as well. Including dependence on monoculture cropping systems as well as reliance on herbicide.

Potentially GMO’s can be a driving force in solving many issues such as stopping the hunger crisis, as well as lowering of our carbon emissions.  We as a nation are always trying to break new ground and with GM, we can be at the forefront in the next stage of agriculture. GM does not just stop there, the potentials are endless, and you would have to be a fool to reject them. If you could make the world a better place would you? Next time you hear someone slandering genetic modification try and change their mind. If enough people change one person’s opinion you will have aided in making the world a better place.

 

 

Works Cited

Arpaia, S., De Cristofaro, A., Guerrieri, E., Bossi, S., Cellini, F., Di Leo, G. M., …Vitagliano, S. (2011). Foraging activity of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.) on Bt-expressing eggplants. Arthropod – Plant Interactions, 5(3), 255+. doi: 10.1007/s11829-011-9144-5

Barfoot, P. & Brookes, G. (2014) Key global environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996–2012. GM Crops & Food, 5:2, 149-160, doi: 10.4161/gmcr.28449

Barfoot, P. & Brookes, G. (2014). GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996- 2012. PG Economics, Ltd. 1-189.

Byczynski, L. (2008). The flower farmer: An organic grower’s guide to raising and selling cut flowers. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Pub.

Dreistadt, S. H. (2001). Integrated pest management for floriculture and nurseries. Oakland, CA: University of California, Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Environmental impacts. (n.d.). Pesticide Action Network of North America. Retrieved from http://www.panna.org/resources/environmental-impacts

Fernanandez-Cornejo, J., Hallahan, C., Nehring, R., & Wechsler, S. (2012). Conservation tillage, herbicide use, and genetically engineered crops in the United States: The case of soybeans. AgBioForum, 15(3), 231-241. Retrieved from http://www.agbioforum.org/v15n3/v15n3a01-fernandez-cornejo.pdf

GMO facts. (2016). Non GMO Project. Retrieved from http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/

Gassman research is strong reminder of need for comprehensive IPM. (2011). Monsanto. Retrieved from http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/gassmann-research-reminder-of-need-for-comprehensive-ipm.aspx

Lima, M. A. P., Pires, C. S. S., Guedes, R. N. C., & Campos, L. A. O. (2013). Lack of lethal and sublethal effects of Cry1Ac Bt-toxin on larvae of the stingless bee Trigona spinipes. Apidologie, 44(1), 21-28.

Pollan, M. (2001). The botany of desire: A plant’s eye view of the world. New York: Random House.

Stefani, F. O. P. & Bérubé, J. A. (2006). Evaluation of foliar fungal endophyte incidence in field-grown transgenic Bt white spruce trees. Canadian Journal of Botany, 84(10), 1573+. doi:10.1139/B06-110

Taiz, L., & Zeiger, E. (2010). Chapter 2: Genome organization and gene expression. Plant Physiology (5th ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

The problem with pesticides. (2010). Toxic Action Center. Retrieved from http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides

Tian, J., Wang, X., Long, L., Romeis, J., Narranjo, S., Hellmich…Shelton, A. (2013). Bt crops producing Cry1Ac, Cry2Ab and Cry1F do not harm the green lacewing, Chrysoperla rufilabris. PLOS ONE, 8(3), 1-6 : e60125. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060125

Top 10 conservation tillage benefits.(n.d.). Conservation Technology Information Center. Retrieved from http://www.ctic.purdue.edu/resourcedisplay/293/3

Wolt, J., & Peterson, R.D. (2012). Prospective formulation of environmental risk assessments: Probabilistic screening for Cry1A(b) maize risk to aquatic insects. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety Agriculture Collection. 73(6). 1182-1190. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2010.06.001

 

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Barfoot, P. & Brookes, G. (2014) Key global environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996–2012. GM Crops & Food, 5:2, 149-160, doi: 10.4161/gmcr.28449

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Dreistadt, S. H. (2001). Integrated pest management for floriculture and nurseries. Oakland, CA: University of California, Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Environmental impacts. (n.d.). Pesticide Action Network of North America. Retrieved from http://www.panna.org/resources/environmental-impacts

Fernanandez-Cornejo, J., Hallahan, C., Nehring, R., & Wechsler, S. (2012). Conservation tillage, herbicide use, and genetically engineered crops in the United States: The case of soybeans. AgBioForum, 15(3), 231-241. Retrieved from http://www.agbioforum.org/v15n3/v15n3a01-fernandez-cornejo.pdf

GMO facts. (2016). Non GMO Project. Retrieved from http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/

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Lima, M. A. P., Pires, C. S. S., Guedes, R. N. C., & Campos, L. A. O. (2013). Lack of lethal and sublethal effects of Cry1Ac Bt-toxin on larvae of the stingless bee Trigona spinipes. Apidologie, 44(1), 21-28.

Pollan, M. (2001). The botany of desire: A plant’s eye view of the world. New York: Random House.

Stefani, F. O. P. & Bérubé, J. A. (2006). Evaluation of foliar fungal endophyte incidence in field-grown transgenic Bt white spruce trees. Canadian Journal of Botany, 84(10), 1573+. doi:10.1139/B06-110

Taiz, L., & Zeiger, E. (2010). Chapter 2: Genome organization and gene expression. Plant Physiology (5th ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

The problem with pesticides. (2010). Toxic Action Center. Retrieved from http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides

Tian, J., Wang, X., Long, L., Romeis, J., Narranjo, S., Hellmich…Shelton, A. (2013). Bt crops producing Cry1Ac, Cry2Ab and Cry1F do not harm the green lacewing, Chrysoperla rufilabris. PLOS ONE, 8(3), 1-6 : e60125. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060125

Top 10 conservation tillage benefits.(n.d.). Conservation Technology Information Center. Retrieved from http://www.ctic.purdue.edu/resourcedisplay/293/3

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Wolt, J., & Peterson, R.D. (2012). Prospective formulation of environmental risk assessments: Probabilistic screening for Cry1A(b) maize risk to aquatic insects. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety Agriculture Collection. 73(6). 1182-1190. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2010.06.001

Evan

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