|Zipf, Alan - ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: Journal of New Seeds
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2003
Publication Date: December 1, 2003
Citation: Zipf, A.E., Rajasekaran, K. 2003. Ecological impact of Bt cotton. Journal of New Seeds. 5(2-3):115-135. Technical Abstract: An overview of the ecological impact of transgenic crops, especially Bt cotton, is given in this paper. Crops expressing insecticidal crystal protoxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) were among the first transgenic products approved for commercial use in the USA and several other countries. The cotton farming community in the USA embraced the transgenic technology because of the myriad of potential benefits in reducing costs of operation, reduction in damage of the environment and ground water supply due to the repeated use of pesticides, etc., in agricultural production systems and, not in the least, increased quality time that the farming families get to enjoy. However, concerns about genetically modified crops and foods remain in the USA and elsewhere. Concerns include the impact of Bt on non-target organisms, the possibility of insect populations developing resistance, possible allergenic effect of new proteins and cottonseed or fiber quality. Key aspects of these concerns and remedies, as reported in the literature, are summarized in this paper.