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General Information

Document type
  • Peer-reviewed journal article
GE organism
  • maize
GE trait
  • insect resistance
Country
  • Switzerland

Results

Safety for environment
  • no effect

Laboratory toxicity studies demonstrate no adverse effects of Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb1 to larvae of Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): the importance of study design

Alvarez-Alfageme, F; Bigler, F; Romeis, J
Transgenic Research. 2011 June. 20(3):467-479

Link to full text (journal may charge for access)

PMID: 20740377 DOI: 10.1007/s11248-010-9430-5 ISSN: 0962-8819

Abstract

Scientific studies are frequently used to support policy decisions related to transgenic crops. Schmidt et al., Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 56:221-228 (2009) recently reported that Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb were toxic to larvae of Adalia bipunctata in direct feeding studies. This study was quoted, among others, to justify the ban of Bt maize (MON 810) in Germany. The study has subsequently been criticized because of methodological shortcomings that make it questionable whether the observed effects were due to direct toxicity of the two Cry proteins. We therefore conducted tritrophic studies assessing whether an effect of the two proteins on A. bipunctata could be detected under more realistic routes of exposure. Spider mites that had fed on Bt maize (events MON810 and MON88017) were used as carriers to expose young A. bipunctata larvae to high doses of biologically active Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb1. Ingestion of the two Cry proteins by A. bipunctata did not affect larval mortality, weight, or development time. These results were confirmed in a subsequent experiment in which A. bipunctata were directly fed with a sucrose solution containing dissolved purified proteins at concentrations approximately 10 times higher than measured in Bt maize-fed spider mites. Hence, our study does not provide any evidence that larvae of A. bipunctata are sensitive to Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb1 or that Bt maize expressing these proteins would adversely affect this predator. The results suggest that the apparent harmful effects of Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb1 reported by Schmidt et al., Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 56:221-228 (2009) were artifacts of poor study design and procedures. It is thus important that decision-makers evaluate the quality of individual scientific studies and do not view all as equally rigorous and relevant.

Keywords

Environmental risk assessment; MON810; MON88017; Non-target effects; Study design; Cry1Ab; Cry3Bb1; Adalia bipunctata

Funding

Funding source
  • Not reported
Funding country
  • Not reported
Funding type
  • Not reported

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Cite this study

MLA

Alvarez-Alfageme, F, F Bigler, J Romeis. "Laboratory toxicity studies demonstrate no adverse effects of Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb1 to larvae of Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): the importance of study design." Transgenic Research 20.3 (2011): 467-479. Web. 20 Nov. 2017.

APA

Alvarez-Alfageme, F., Bigler, F., & Romeis, J. (2011). Laboratory toxicity studies demonstrate no adverse effects of Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb1 to larvae of Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): the importance of study design. Transgenic Research, 20(3), 467-479. doi:10.1007/s11248-010-9430-5

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