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Vol. 25 No. 3
May - June 2003

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Impact of Transgenic Crops on the Use of Agrochemicals and the Environment

Large-scale cultivation of transgenic (genetically modified) crops started in 1996 and has experienced rapid adoption ever since, amounting to a globally cultivated area of 58.7 million hectares of arable land in 2002. Most of these crops have been modified with new traits that are linked with pest management, such as resistance against damaging insects and tolerance towards application of broad-spectrum herbicides. The focus of this project is to collect data on changes in pesticide use on genetically modified crops.

It has already become evident from a number of studies that genetically modified crops have an impact on pesticide use, both in terms of grower’s choice for a specific pesticide as well as in terms of quantities used. Within the project, these data will serve as input for the prediction of the potential environmental and health effects associated with the changed pesticide-use pattern. The ecotoxicological and toxicological effects linked with the various scenarios of pesticide use will be compared quantitatively with the aid of "environmental indicators." In addition, other effects of the altered pesticide use, including ecology and biodiversity will be taken into account.

The final goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of the effects associated with altered pesticide use in genetically modified crops. Such an overview may serve as a tool for policy makers in their risk-benefit analysis for the introduction of genetically modified crops in the environment.

For more information, contact the Task Group Chairman Gijs A. Kleter <g.a.kleter@rikilt.dlo.nl>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2001/2001-024-2-600.html


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