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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Transgenic Herbicide-resistant Crops and Environmental Impacts)

Author
item Cerdeira, Antonio
item Duke, Stephen
item Gazziero, Dionisio
item Matallo, Marcus
item Bolonhesi, Denizart

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Cerdeira, A.L., Duke, S.O., Gazziero, D., Matallo, M.B., Bolonhesi, D. 2009. Transgenic Herbicide-resistant Crops and Environmental Impacts (Plantas Transgenica Resistentes a Herbicidas e Interacoes com o Meio Ambiente) in: Culturas Transgenicas: um Abordagem de Beneficios e Riscos (Transgenic Crops: an Overview of Risks and Benefits), V.C. Pipolo, Ed., Universidade Estadual de Londrina. pp. 153-171.

Interpretive Summary: Transgenic glufosinate- and glyphosate-resistant crops are currently commercialized, and bromoxynil-resistant crops have been removed from the market for economic reasons. Glyphosate-resistant cotton and soybean have become dominant in those countries where they can be grown. Potential effects of glufosinate and glyphosate on contamination of soil, water and air are minimal, compared to that caused by the herbicides that they replace when herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs) are adopted. Both glufosinate- and glyphosate-resistant crops promote the adoption of reduced- or no-tillage agriculture, reducing environmental degradation by agriculture. HRCs have caused evolved resistance in weed species or have shifted to those that are naturally resistant. Transgene flow with HRCs is a concern for commercial and ecological reasons. In canola, rice, and bentgrass (Agrostis spp), herbicide resistance transgenes have been found in fields that are supposed to be non transgenic. Under some circumstances, transgene flow (introgression) to plants that might become problems in natural ecosystems remain the largest risk of HRCs.

Technical Abstract: Transgenic glufosinate- and glyphosate-resistant crops are currently commercialized, and bromoxynil-resistant crops have been removed from the market for economic reasons. Glyphosate-resistant cotton and soybean have become dominant in those countries where they can be grown. Potential effects of glufosinate and glyphosate on contamination of soil, water and air are minimal, compared to that caused by the herbicides that they replace when herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs) are adopted. Both glufosinate- and glyphosate-resistant crops promote the adoption of reduced- or no-tillage agriculture, reducing environmental degradation by agriculture. HRCs have caused evolved resistance in weed species or have shifted to those that are naturally resistant. Transgene flow with HRCs is a concern for commercial and ecological reasons. In canola, rice, and bentgrass (Agrostis spp), herbicide resistance transgenes have been found in fields that are supposed to be non transgenic. Under some circumstances, transgene flow (introgression) to plants that might become problems in natural ecosystems remain the largest risk of HRCs.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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