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The Environmental impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

By Rosemary Hails

Abstract

The intensification of agriculture has provided cheaper more plentiful food, but has also caused declines in farmland wildlife. The introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops may exacerbate this, or offer new ways of mitigating anthropogenic impacts. The potential consequences of the introduction of GM crops have been studied for over a decade, since commercialization. Although the specific issues depend on the crop and transgenes involved, one common theme that emerges is that the biggest effects will arise from the way in which the GM crop will be managed. Herbicide-tolerant GM crops may allow better weed control, and this is a risk to biodiversity that should be mitigated. However, even herbicide-tolerant crops have some environmental benefits through reduced production and application of herbicides. Insect and disease-resistant crops will have fewer impacts on nontarget organisms than conventional crops and their management, and so may offer direct environmental benefits.\ud \u

Topics: Biology and Microbiology, Ecology and Environment
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003255.pub2
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:7806
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