Surrogate Species Selection for Assessing Potential Adverse Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Insect-Resistant Plants on Non-Target Organisms

Carstens K, Cayabyab B, De Schrijver A, Gadaleta PG, Hellmich RL, Romeis J, Storer N, Valicente FH, Wach M
GM Crops & Food
January 1, 2014

Most regulatory authorities require that developers of genetically engineered insect-resistant (GEI R) crops evaluate the potential for these crops to have adverse impacts on valued non-target organisms (NTOs), i.e., organisms not intended to be controlled by the trait. In many cases, impacts to NTOs are assessed using surrogate species, and it is critical that the data derived from surrogates accurately predict any adverse impacts likely to be observed from the use of the crop in the agricultural context. The key is to select surrogate species that best represent the valued NTOs in the location where the crop is going to be introduced, but this selection process poses numerous challenges for the developers of GE crops who will perform the tests, as well as for the ecologists and regulators who will interpret the test results.

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