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Assessment of risk of insect-resistant transgenic crops to nontarget arthropods


An international initiative is developing a scientifically rigorous approach to evaluate the potential risks to nontarget arthropods (NTAs) posed by insect-resistant, genetically modified (IRGM) crops. It adapts the tiered approach to risk assessment that is used internationally within regulatory toxicology and environmental sciences. The approach focuses on the formulation and testing of clearly stated risk hypotheses, making maximum use of available data and using formal decision guidelines to progress between testing stages (or tiers). It is intended to provide guidance to regulatory agencies that are currently developing their own NTA risk assessment guidelines for IRGM crops and to help harmonize regulatory requirements between different countries and different regions of the world.

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Figure 1: Assessment continuum within a tiered scheme of ecological risk assessment.
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Correspondence to Jörg Romeis.

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Competing interests

J.E.H., R.L. and A.R. are employed by companies that develop and sell GM plants. M.P.C. had been employed by a company that conducts regulatory risk assessment studies and works now for a plant protection company.

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Romeis, J., Bartsch, D., Bigler, F. et al. Assessment of risk of insect-resistant transgenic crops to nontarget arthropods. Nat Biotechnol 26, 203–208 (2008).

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