CC-BY 4.0

Environmental benefits of genetically modified crops: Global and European perspectives on their ability to reduce pesticide use

R. H. Phipps 1,  
Centre for Dairy Research, Department of Agriculture, The University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AT, UK
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2002;11(1):1–18
Publish date: 2002-01-31
The Green Revolution, which brought together improved varieties, increased use of fertilizer, irrigation and synthetic pesticides, is credited with helping to feed the current global population of 6 billion. While this paper recognizes the ability of pesticides to reduce crop losses, it also discusses their potential negative effects on public health, with particular emphasis in developing countries, and the environment. The response of the agricultural industry in bringing forward new technology such as reduced application rates of targeted pesticides with lower toxicity and persistency is noted. However, with increasing world population, a slowing of the rate of crop improvement through conventional breeding and a declining area of land available for food production there is a need for new technologies to produce more food of improved nutritional value in an environmentally acceptable and sustainable manner. Whilst the authors recognize that the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops is controversial, the benefits of these crops, including their effect on pesticide use is only now beginning to be documented. Published data are used to estimate what effect GM crops have had on pesticide use first on a global basis, and then to predict what effect they would have if widely grown in the European Union (EU). On a global basis GM technology has reduced pesticide use, with the size of the reduction varying between crops and the introduced trait. It is estimated that the use of GM soyabean, oil seed rape, cotton and maize varieties modified for herbicide tolerance and insect protected GM varieties of cotton reduced pesticide use by a total of 22.3 million kg of formulated product in the year 2000. Estimates indicate that if 50% of the maize, oil seed rape, sugar beet, and cotton grown in the EU were GM varieties, pesticide used in the EU/annum would decrease by 14.5 million kg of formulated product (4.4 million kg active ingredient). In addition there would be a reduction of 7.5 million ha sprayed which would save 20.5 million litres of diesel and result in a reduction of approximately 73,0001 of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. The paper also points to areas where GM technology may make further marked reductions in global pesticide use.
1. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
Rosemary S Hails
2. Current control methods for diamondback moth and other brassica insect pests and the prospects for improved management with lepidopteran-resistant Bt vegetable brassicas in Asia and Africa
D. Grzywacz, A. Rossbach, A. Rauf, D.A. Russell, R. Srinivasan, A.M. Shelton
Crop Protection
3. Importância da biodiversidade para a saúde humana: uma perspectiva ecológica
Cleber J. R Alho
Estudos Avançados
4. Ecological Networks in an Agricultural World
Alireza Tamaddoni-Nezhad, Ghazal Afroozi Milani, Alan Raybould, Stephen Muggleton, David A. Bohan
5. Health effect of agricultural pesticide use in China: implications for the development of GM crops
Chao Zhang, Ruifa Hu, Jikun Huang, Xusheng Huang, Guanming Shi, Yifan Li, Yanhong Yin, Zhaohui Chen
Scientific Reports
6. The Greening of Pesticide–Environment Interactions: Some Personal Observations
John E. Casida
Environmental Health Perspectives
7. Agro-ecological Approaches to Pest Management for Sustainable Agriculture
P. Parvatha Reddy
8. Environmental and human health impacts of growing genetically modified herbicide-tolerant sugar beet: a life-cycle assessment
Richard Bennett, Richard Phipps, Alison Strange, Peter Grey
Plant Biotechnology Journal
9. Risk assessment of GM plants: avoiding gridlock?
Mike J. Wilkinson, Jeremy Sweet, Guy M. Poppy
Trends in Plant Science
10. Integrated management of phytonematodes by the application of organic amendment and ploughing under field conditions
A. Usman, M.A. Siddiqui
Archives Of Phytopathology And Plant Protection
11. Sweeteners
Theodoros Varzakas, Vasiliki Pletsa
12. Relevance of genetically modified crops in light of future environmental and legislative challenges to the agri-environment
M. O’Brien, E. Mullins
Annals of Applied Biology
13. Bacilli and Agrobiotechnology
Daniel L. Frank
14. Identity Preservation Systems for Genetically Modified Potatoes
Elliot A. Toevs, Joseph F. Guenthner, Aaron J. Johnson, Christopher S. McIntosh, Michael K. Thornton
American Journal of Potato Research
15. Soil Health and Intensification of Agroecosytems
Mathew E. Dornbush, Adam C. von Haden
16. Genetic engineering in conifer forestry: Technical and social considerations
Christian Walter
In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Plant
17. Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Vegetable Crops
E. A. Heinrichs, Rangaswamy Muniappan
18. Biotechnology in Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
Zeba Alam
19. How should public policy respond to the challenges of modern biotechnology?
Mark Cantley
Current Opinion in Biotechnology
20. Biotech Potatoes in the 21st Century: 20 Years Since the First Biotech Potato
Dennis Halterman, Joe Guenthner, Susan Collinge, Nathaniel Butler, David Douches
American Journal of Potato Research
21. Metabolomic Strategies Based on High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry as a Tool for Recognition of GMO (MON 89788 Variety) and Non-GMO Soybean: a Critical Assessment of Two Complementary Methods
Vojtech Hrbek, Veronika Krtkova, Josep Rubert, Hana Chmelarova, Katerina Demnerova, Jaroslava Ovesna, Jana Hajslova
Food Analytical Methods
22. Impact of oilseed rape expressing the insecticidal serine protease inhibitor, mustard trypsin inhibitor-2 on the beneficial predator Pterostichus madidus
Molecular Ecology
23. Impact of Bt cotton adoption on pesticide use by smallholders: A 2-year survey in Makhatini Flats (South Africa)
Jean-Luc Hofs, Michel Fok, Maurice Vaissayre
Crop Protection
24. Agroecological practices for sustainable agriculture. A review
Alexander Wezel, Marion Casagrande, Florian Celette, Jean-François Vian, Aurélie Ferrer, Joséphine Peigné
Agronomy for Sustainable Development
25. The impact of textile industry on China's environment
Sauwai You, Stephen Cheng, Hong Yan
International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education
26. The impact of the EU regulatory constraint of transgenic crops on farm income
Julian Park, Ian McFarlane, Richard Phipps, Graziano Ceddia
New Biotechnology
27. Consumers' willingness to buy products with environmental and ethical claims: the roles of social representations and social identity
Jos Bartels, Marleen C. Onwezen
International Journal of Consumer Studies
28. Herbicide-resistant crops and weed resistance to herbicides
Micheal DK Owen, Ian A Zelaya
Pest Management Science
29. Genetically Engineered Foods
Grigore M. Elena, Biscu E. Ramona, Alina M. Holban
30. Btcrops: Predicting effects of escaped transgenes on the fitness of wild plants and their herbivores
Deborah K. Letourneau, Gaden S. Robinson, Joy A. Hagen
Environmental Biosafety Research
31. Effectiveness of Microbial and Chemical Insecticides for Supplemental Control of Bollworm on Bt and Non-Bt Cottons
N. S. Little, R. G. Luttrell, K. C. Allen, O. P. Perera, K. A. Parys
Journal of Economic Entomology
32. The role of transgenic crops in sustainable development
Julian Raymond Park, Ian McFarlane, Richard Hartley Phipps, Graziano Ceddia
Plant Biotechnology Journal
33. Genetically modified crops and small-scale farmers: main opportunities and challenges
Hossein Azadi, Atry Samiee, Hossein Mahmoudi, Zeynab Jouzi, Parisa Rafiaani Khachak, Philippe De Maeyer, Frank Witlox
Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
34. The influence of corporate social responsibility on consumers' attitudes and intentions toward genetically modified foods: evidence from Italy
Giovanni Pino, Cesare Amatulli, Matteo De Angelis, Alessandro M. Peluso
Journal of Cleaner Production
35. Transcriptome analysis of Hpa1Xoo transformed cotton revealed constitutive expression of genes in multiple signalling pathways related to disease resistance
Weiguo Miao, Xiben Wang, Congfeng Song, Yu Wang, Yonghong Ren, Jinsheng Wang
Journal of Experimental Botany
36. Cross-resistance of Cry1Ab-selected Asian corn borer to other Cry toxins
L. Xu, Z. Wang, J. Zhang, K. He, N. Ferry, A. M. R. Gatehouse
Journal of Applied Entomology
37. Biofortification: A new approach to eradicate hidden hunger
Priyanka Sharma, Poonam Aggarwal, Amarjeet Kaur
Food Reviews International
38. The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. Part II. Overview of ecological risk assessment
Anthony J. Conner, Travis R. Glare, Jan-Peter Nap
The Plant Journal
39. An ecological assessment of transgenic crops
Janice E. Thies, Medha H. Devare
The Journal of Development Studies
40. Is China's unparalleled and understudied bee diversity at risk?
Jonathan L. Teichroew, Jianchu Xu, Antje Ahrends, Zachary Y. Huang, Ken Tan, Zhenghua Xie
Biological Conservation
41. Prey-mediated effects of transgenic canola on a beneficial, non-target, carabid beetle
Natalie Ferry, Evan A. Mulligan, C. Neal Stewart, Bruce E. Tabashnik, Gordon R. Port, Angharad M. R. Gatehouse
Transgenic Research
42. Weed species shifts in glyphosate-resistant crops
Micheal DK Owen
Pest Management Science
43. Development of a chemiluminometric immunosensor array for on-site monitoring of genetically modified organisms
Hye-Jee Jang, Il-Hoon Cho, Hee-Soo Kim, Jin-Woo Jeon, Se-Young Hwang, Se-Hwan Paek
Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical
44. Weed control in glyphosate-tolerant maize in Europe
Alan M Dewar
Pest Management Science
45. Development of elite rice restorer lines in the genetic background of R022 possessing tolerance to brown planthopper, stem borer, leaf folder and herbicide through marker-assisted breeding
Bingliang Wan, Zhongping Zha, Jinbo Li, Mingyuan Xia, Xueshu Du, Yongjun Lin, Desuo Yin
46. Genetically modified crops and climate change linkages: An Indian perspective
Amanpreet Kaur, Ravinder Kumar Kohli, Paramjit Singh Jaswal
Agricultural Sciences
47. Effects of biotechnology on biodiversity: herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant GM crops
Klaus Ammann
Trends in Biotechnology
48. Determination of baseline susceptibility to Cry1Ab protein for Asian corn borer (Lep., Crambidae)
K. He, Z. Wang, L. Wen, S. Bai, X. Ma, Z. Yao
Journal of Applied Entomology
49. The effect of information regarding multi-attributes on consumers' choices of GM products
Amir Heiman
Environment and Development Economics
50. The changing status of invertebrate pests and the future of pest management in the Australian grains industry
Ary A. Hoffmann, Andrew R. Weeks, Michael A. Nash, G. Peter Mangano, Paul A. Umina
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
51. Field-Based Assessment of Resistance to Bt Corn by Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)
Ram B. Shrestha, Siva R. K. Jakka, B. Wade French, Aaron J. Gassmann
Journal of Economic Entomology
52. Transgenic Crops: Implications for Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture
Maria Alice Garcia, Miguel A. Altieri
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
53. 3. Genetically modified food crops for improving agricultural practice and their effects on human health
Jennifer Thomson
Trends in Food Science & Technology
54. Determinants of anti-GM food activism
Gale E. West, Bruno Larue
Journal of Public Affairs
55. Freshwater ecotoxicity impacts from pesticide use in animal and vegetable foods produced in Sweden
Maria Nordborg, Jennifer Davis, Christel Cederberg, Anna Woodhouse
Science of The Total Environment
56. Cross-order and cross-phylum activity of Bacillus thuringiensis pesticidal proteins
Kees van Frankenhuyzen
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
57. Assessing the risks associated with new agricultural practices
R. S. Hails
58. A genetically modified organism, biodiversity, and our life in Japan.
Yasuyuki Yoshimura
Journal of Weed Science and Technology
59. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: Back to the future
L.A. Lacey, D. Grzywacz, D.I. Shapiro-Ilan, R. Frutos, M. Brownbridge, M.S. Goettel
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
60. Prospects of genetic modified maize crop in Africa
Mwamahonje Andekelile, Mrosso Leon
African Journal of Biotechnology
61. Towards ecologically sustainable crop production: A South African perspective
M. van der Laan, K.L. Bristow, R.J. Stirzaker, J.G. Annandale
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
62. Bacillus thuringiensis and Lysinibacillus sphaericus
Kees van Frankenhuyzen
63. Dominos in the dairy: An analysis of transgenic maize in Dutch dairy farming
Rolf A. Groeneveld, Justus Wesseler, Paul B.M. Berentsen
Ecological Economics
64. Conservation Agriculture
Shrikaant Kulkarni
65. What do Animal Nutritionists Expect from Plant Breeding?
Gerhard Flachowsky
Outlook on Agriculture
66. Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Bernhard Freyer, Jim Bingen
67. Efficacy of a new slow-release volatile system against Aphis gossypii Glover (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on cucumber, Cucumis sativus L.
Lilach Mondaca, Phyllis G. Weintraub, Eitan Recht
68. An introduction to the Farm-Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops
L. G. Firbank, M. S. Heard, I. P. Woiwod, C. Hawes, A. J. Haughton, G. T. Champion, R. J. Scott, M. O. Hill, A. M. Dewar, G. R. Squire, M. J. May, D. R. Brooks, D. A. Bohan, R. E. Daniels, J. L. Osborne, D. B. Roy, H. I. J. Black, P. Rothery, J. N. Perry
Journal of Applied Ecology
69. Gene silencing in Tribolium castaneum as a tool for the targeted identification of candidate RNAi targets in crop pests
Eileen Knorr, Elane Fishilevich, Linda Tenbusch, Meghan L. F. Frey, Murugesan Rangasamy, Andre Billion, Sarah E. Worden, Premchand Gandra, Kanika Arora, Wendy Lo, Greg Schulenberg, Pablo Valverde-Garcia, Andreas Vilcinskas, Kenneth E. Narva
Scientific Reports
70. Occupational Pesticide Exposures and Respiratory Health
Ming Ye, Jeremy Beach, Jonathan Martin, Ambikaipakan Senthilselvan
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
71. Uptake and elimination kinetics of trifluralin and pendimethalin in Pheretima spp. and Eisenia spp.
Yuko Goto, Miki Sudo
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Lynn Epstein, Susan Bassein
Annual Review of Phytopathology
73. Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems
T. Kim
74. Effects of field history on resistance to Bt maize by western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)
Ram B. Shrestha, Mike W. Dunbar, Bryan W. French, Aaron J. Gassmann, Dean E. Riechers