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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY-BASED MANAGEMENT OF INSECT PESTS OF CORN, WITH EMPHASIS ON CORN BORERS, ROOTWORMS, AND CUTWORMS

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Surrogate species selection for assessing potential adverse environmental impacts of genetically engineered plants on non-target organisms

Authors
item Carstens, Keri -
item Cayabyab, Bonifacio -
item DE Schrijver, Adinda -
item Gadeleta, Patricia -
item HELLMICH, RICHARD
item Mclean, Morven -
item Romeis, Jorg -
item Storer, Nicholas -
item Valicente, Fernando -
item Wach, Michael -

Submitted to: GM Crops
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2013
Publication Date: September 23, 2013
Citation: Carstens, K., Cayabyab, B., De Schrijver, A., Gadeleta, P., Hellmich Ii, R.L., Mclean, M., Romeis, J., Storer, N., Valicente, F.H., Wach, M. 2013. Surrogate species selection for assessing potential adverse environmental impacts of genetically engineered plants on non-target organisms. GM Crops. 5(1):11-5.

Interpretive Summary: Genetically engineered (GE) crops are regulated by governments internationally. As part of this oversight, regulators require developers of GE crops with resistance to insects to evaluate the potential for these crops to negatively impact non-target organisms (NTOs). In many cases, possible impacts to NTOs are assessed using surrogates species, and it is critical that data derived from surrogates accurately predict any adverse impacts from the use of these crops. The key is to select surrogate species that best represent the valued NTOs in the location where the crop will be planted, but this selection process poses numerous challenges for the developers of GE crops who will perform the tests, as well as for the ecologists and regulators who will interpret test results. These issues were the subject of a conference “Surrogate Species Selection for Assessing Potential Adverse Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Plants on Non-Target Organisms” convened by the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, ILSI Research Foundation. This report summarizes the proceedings of the conference, including the presentations, discussions, and the points of consensus agreed to by the participants. This information is useful to all scientist and regulators interested in evaluating the environmental safety of genetically-engineered plants.

Technical Abstract: Most regulatory authorities require that developers of genetically engineered insect-resistant (GEIR) crops evaluate the potential for these crops to have adverse impacts on valued non-target organisms (NTOs), i.e., organisms not intended to be controlled by the trait. In many cases, impacts to NTOs are assessed using surrogates species, and it is critical that the data derived from surrogates accurately predict any adverse impacts likely to be observed from the use of the crop in the agricultural context. The key is to select surrogate species that best represent the valued NTOs in the location where the crop is going to be introduced, but this selection process poses numerous challenges for the developers of GE crops, who will perform the tests, as well as for the ecologists and regulators who will interpret the test results. These issues were the subject of a conference “Surrogate Species Selection for Assessing Potential Adverse Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Plants on Non-Target Organisms” convened by the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, ILSI Research Foundation. This report summarizes the proceedings of the conference, including the presentations, discussions, and the points of consensus agreed to by the participants.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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