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Environmental Impact

From climate change to biodiversity loss - documenting human impacts on the environment

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CABI Book Chapter

Environmental impact of genetically modified crops.

Book cover for Environmental impact of genetically modified crops.


This book, containing 20 chapters, addresses the major concerns of scientists, policy makers, environmental lobby groups and the general public regarding the controversial issue on environmental impact (e.g. on soil and water ecology and nontarget organisms) of transgenic crops, from an editorially neutral standpoint. While the main focus is on environmental impact, food safety issues for both hum...

Chapter 16 (Page no: 344)

Monitoring Bt resistance in the field: China as a case study.

China was the first country to commercialize biotech crops with the commercialization of tobacco in the early 1990s. In 1997, it formally approved the commercialization of Bt cotton. Despite the availability of local cotton varieties expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), Monsanto's Bt cotton varieties were also introduced. The adoption of Bt cotton increased consecutively for the first 7 years and from 2004 to 2007 occupied more than 66% of the national total cotton acreage. More than 8 million smallholder, resource-poor cotton farmers derived significant productivity, economic, environmental, health and social benefits, including a substantial contribution to the alleviation of poverty in some areas, as a result of higher incomes from Bt cotton. In most regions, typical cotton farms are on a small scale. Cotton bollworm (CBW) Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) is the major target insect of Bt cotton. Due to the growing of Bt cotton, in 2003 there was a reduction of more than 95,000 t of pesticide. As an important component of the monitoring programme, baseline Cry1A(c) susceptibility data for the CBW were established; the timing of this coincided with the commercialization of Bt cotton. A systematic monitoring programme for CBW resistance to Bt cotton has been carried out and, to date, no field resistance has been detected. A refuge-based strategy has been employed in resistance management. Natural refuges have successfully been adopted in the Yellow River region, the largest cotton cropping area where mixed cropping with a wide variety of crops, such as maize, soybean, groundnut, oilseed rape, legumes, etc., is generally practised by the small farms. Non-Bt cotton refugia have been recommended in the Changjiang (Yangtse) River region and the North-western region since cotton is the sole host plant for pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypilla (Saunders)) in the Changjiang River region.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Transgenic crops and their applications for sustainable agriculture and food security. Author(s): Christou, P. Capell, T.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 23) Environmental benefits of genetically modified crops. Author(s): Edwards, M. G. Poppy, G. M.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 42) Developing a 21st century view of agriculture and the environment. Author(s): Pimentel, D. Paoletti, M. G.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 61) Environmental risk assessment. Author(s): Tencalla, F. G. Nickson, T. E. Garcia-Alonso, M.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 74) Insect resistance to genetically modified crops. Author(s): Tabashnik, B. E. Carrière, Y.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 101) Resistance management of transgenic insect-resistant crops: ecological factors. Author(s): Raymond, B. Wright, D. J.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 115) Herbicide-tolerant genetically modified crops: resistance management. Author(s): Owen, M. D. K.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 165) Impact of insect-resistant transgenic crops on aboveground non-target arthropods. Author(s): Romeis, J. Meissle, M. Raybould, A. Hellmich, R. L.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 199) Impact of genetically modified crops on pollinators. Author(s): Malone, L. A. Burgess, E. P. J.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 225) Impact of genetically modified crops on soil and water ecology. Author(s): Wheatley, R.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 240) Biodiversity and genetically modified crops. Author(s): Ammann, K.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 265) Potential wider impact: farmland birds. Author(s): Whittingham, M. J.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 278) Safety for human consumption. Author(s): Phipps, R. H.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 296) Biofuels: Jatropha curcas as a novel, non-edible oilseed plant for biodiesel. Author(s): Kohli, A. Raorane, M. Popluechai, S. Kannan, U. Syers, J. K. O'Donnell, A. G.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 327) European commercial genetically modified plantings and field trials. Author(s): Ortego, F. Pons, X. Albajes, R. Castañera, P.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 360) Current status of crop biotechnology in Africa. Author(s): George, D.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 383) Agriculture, innovation and environment. Author(s): Ferry, N. Gatehouse, A. M. R.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • The State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Disease and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2009
  • ISBN
  • 9781845934095
  • Record Number
  • 20093074634