. "2. Potential Environmental and Human Health Implications of Pest-Protected Plants." Genetically Modified Pest-Protected Plants: Science and Regulation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.
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GENETICALLY MODIFIED PEST-PROTECTED PLANTS: SCIENCE AND REGULATION
trophic levels that are consumed by nontarget organisms. However, the committee found that
Both conventional and transgenic pest-protected crops could haveeffects on nontarget species, but these potential impacts on nontargetorganisms are generally expected to be smaller than the impacts ofbroad-spectrum synthetic insecticides, and therefore, the use ofpest-protected plants could lead to greater biodiversity in agroecosystemswhere they replace the use of those insecticides.
Current criteria for commercialization of transgenic pest-protected plants includes several laboratory toxicity tests for nontarget organisms (see appendix B and section 3.1.2). In light of the above discussions, more field evaluations should be conducted to determine the impacts of specific pest-protected crops on nontarget organisms, compared to impacts of standard and alternative agricultural practices. The committee recommends that
Criteria for evaluating the merit of commercializing a new transgenicpest-protected plant should include the anticipated impacts on nontargetorganisms compared with those of currently used5pest control techniques.
2.7 GENE FLOW FROM TRANSGENIC PEST-PROTECTED PLANTS
Genes from one crop plant may be spread to other plants of the same or related species when pollen is transported by wind, bees, or other animal pollinators. Genes have been flowing from crops to weedy relatives of crop plants for centuries. Now it is also possible for fitness-enhancing transgenes to spread to weed populations. In this report, the committee uses the terms “weedy” and “invasive” in reference to plants that are unwanted in human-dominated or natural habitats. Many people think of weeds primarily as undesirable plants that infest agricultural fields, tree plantations, lawns, and other managed areas. However, natural and semi-natural habitats such as wetlands, coastal dunes, and rangelands are also harmed by the spread of weedy species. Weedy plants quickly colonize open space and may displace non-weedy species, as has occurred with kudzu, Scotch broom, spotted knapweed, and purple loosestrife, for example. Once established, these types of plants are often difficult to eradicate. Annual species release large quantities of long-
Includes both chemical and non-chemical methods which are currently used.