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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sustainable Pest Management Strategies for Arid-land Crops

Location: Pest Management and Biocontrol Research

Title: Does the growing of Bt maize change populations or ecological functions of non-target animals compared to the growing of conventional non-GM maize? A systematic review protocol

Authors
item Meissle, M -
item Naranjo, Steven
item Kohl, C -
item Riedel, J -
item Romeis, J -

Submitted to: Environmental Evidence
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 2014
Publication Date: April 24, 2014
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58829
Citation: Meissle, M., Naranjo, S.E., Kohl, C., Riedel, J., Romeis, J. 2014. Does the growing of Bt maize change populations or ecological functions of non-target animals compared to the growing of conventional non-GM maize? A systematic review protocol. Environmental Evidence. 3:7.

Interpretive Summary: Since 1996, genetically modified (GM) crops have been grown on an ever increasing area worldwide, reaching 170 million hectares in 2012. This area represents more than 10% of the global cultivation area of arable crops. The GM maize event MON810, targeting corn borers (Lepidoptera) and producing Cry1Ab from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), has been cultivated in Europe on significant areas for more than a decade. In 2012, it was planted on a total area of 129 000 ha in 5 European countries led by Spain. Before new GM plants can be released into the environment, regulatory approval needs to be obtained. While MON810 is the only transformation event currently approved for commercial cultivation in the EU, applications for events expressing Cry3 proteins targeting the corn rootworm (Coleoptera) as well as stacked events (producing several Bt proteins simultaneously) have been submitted. A major part of the regulatory process is the environmental risk assessment. The systematic review will address the potential impact of Bt maize on non-target organisms by collectively analysing available data on the topic collected in the field. Data on field/plot characteristics, maize cultivars, insecticide treatments, non-target animal taxa, sampling methods, and response variables of populations and ecological functions are extracted. Meta-analysis will be conducted using the effect size estimator Hedge’s d on a range of comparisons and include sensitivity analysis. This systematic review is conducted within the EU project GRACE (GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence). The review process is fully documented in an open access online data portal developed within GRACE. Stakeholders from academia, competent authorities, industry, professional organizations and non-governmental organizations were given the opportunity to comment on the review question and an earlier draft of this review protocol. A further consultation will take place for the final systematic review. The end result will be a robust analysis of non-target effects of Bt maize useful to regulatory bodies and society in general.

Technical Abstract: Since 1996, genetically modified (GM) crops have been grown on an ever increasing area worldwide. Maize producing a Cry protein from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) was among the first GM crops released for commercial production and it is the only GM crop currently cultivated in Europe. A major part of the regulatory process that precedes the commercial release of GM crops is the environmental risk assessment. Because Bt maize is modified to produce insecticidal proteins, potential interactions with non-target organisms are a major area of concern to be addressed in the risk assessment. In particular, beneficial arthropods that provide important agro-ecological services, such as pollination, decomposition, and biological control are the focus. This systematic review evaluates if the growing of Bt maize affects populations or ecological functions of non-target animals compared to the growing of conventional, non-GM maize. The review is limited to plot or field level data. Potential cropping system effects and off-field effects are not addressed. Bt maize is compared to conventional maize either untreated or treated with chemical insecticides. Keyword searches are conducted in a range of abstracting and full text literature databases. Retrieved records are screened against a set of inclusion criteria, first on title and abstract level, then on full text level. Selected studies are evaluated for risks of bias (quality assessment). Data on field/plot characteristics, maize cultivars, insecticide treatments, non-target animal taxa, sampling methods, and response variables of populations and ecological functions are extracted. Meta-analysis are conducted using the effect size estimator Hedge’s d on a range of comparisons and including sensitivity analysis. This systematic review is conducted within the EU project GRACE. The review process is fully documented in CADIMA, an open access online data portal developed within GRACE. Stakeholders from academia, competent authorities, industry, professional organizations and non-governmental organizations were given the opportunity to comment on the review question and an earlier draft of this review protocol. A further consultation will take place for the final systematic review.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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