The Environmental impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Hails, Rosemary. 2009 The Environmental impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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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.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hails
Additional Keywords: GMOs, environmental impact, risk assessment, farmland biodiversity, pesticides
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 24 Aug 2009 09:36 +0 (UTC)

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