Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Navigating the genetic engineering maze

09.05.2008
In the decade since genetically modified strains of maize resistant to insects have been grown in the European Union, crop yields have gone up, farmers' reliance on insecticides has fallen significantly and the quality of maize has improved. That's the message from research published this month in the International Journal of Biotechnology from Inderscience Publishers.

Agricultural economist Graham Brookes of PG Economics Ltd, based in Dorchester, UK, has reviewed the specific economic impacts on yield and farm income as well as the environmental impact with respect to a lower reliance on insecticide usage since the introduction of GM maize in the EU in 1998.

So-called "Bt" maize carries genes for a highly specific insect toxin from the soil-dwelling microbe Bacillus thuringiensis. This toxin kills the European corn borer and the Mediterranean stem borer, which would otherwise damage maize crops without insecticidal spraying.

Brookes' analysis reveals that profits have risen by more than a fifth for some farmers who previously used synthetic insecticides to control these pests. He points out that GM technology has reduced insecticide spraying markedly, which also has associated environmental benefits. He also points out that the quality of the maize produced is higher because the GM crop is less susceptible than non-GM maize to infestation with fungi that produce mycotoxins, hazardous to human health.

Bt maize was planted for the first time in 1998 in Spain and in 2007 the total area of this crop in Spain was about 75000 hectares. In total, the EU plantings of Bt maize in 2007 were 110,000 hectares, with crops also in France, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Poland. This represents 1.3% of total EU grain maize plantings in 2007.

Brookes points out that his findings are consistent with those seen in North and South America, South Africa and the Philippines. "In all countries where the technology has been adopted farmers have seen consistent increases in both yields and income levels, with annual and regional variations in impact reflecting the variable incidence of pest attacks and damage," he concludes.

Albert Ang | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>