Alan Raybould

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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(More)
Representatives of the developers of modern agricultural biotechnology are proposing a tiered approach for conducting non-target organism risk assessment for genetically modified (GM) plants in Europe. The approach was developed by the Technical Advisory Group of the EuropaBio Plant Biotechnology Unit ( and complements other(More)
Problem formulation is the first step in environmental risk assessment (ERA) where policy goals, scope, assessment endpoints, and methodology are distilled to an explicitly stated problem and approach for analysis. The consistency and utility of ERAs for genetically modified (GM) plants can be improved through rigorous problem formulation (PF), producing an(More)
Glucosinolates are known to elicit responses from Brassica herbivores in laboratory studies. To study their importance in interactions with herbivores in the field, glucosinolate profiles and levels of herbivory were ascertained for wild cabbage plants growing in four neighboring populations in the UK. Glucosinolate profiles differed between plant(More)
The debate concerning genetically modified crops illustrates confusion between the role of scientists and that of wider society in regulatory decision making. We identify two fundamental misunderstandings, which, if rectified, would allow progress with confidence. First, scientific risk assessment needs to test well-defined hypotheses, not simply collect(More)
Policy protection goals are set up in most countries to minimise harm to the environment, humans and animals caused by human activities. Decisions on whether to approve new agricultural products, like pesticides or genetically modified (GM) crops, take into account these policy protection goals. To support decision-making, applications for approval of(More)
UNLABELLED Arthropods form a major part of the biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Many species are valued because they provide ecosystem services, including biological control, pollination and decomposition, or because they are of conservation interest. Some arthropods reduce crop yield and quality, and conventional chemical pesticides, biological(More)
Transgenic crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide economic, environmental and health benefits by maintaining or increasing crop yields with fewer applications of insecticide. To sustain these benefits, it is important to delay the evolution of insect resistance to the proteins, and to ensure that the proteins do not(More)
The requirement for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically engineered (GE) plants prior to large scale or commercial introduction into the environment is well established in national laws and regulations, as well as in international agreements. Since the first introductions of GE plants in commercial agriculture in the 1990s, a nearly universal(More)
This paper provides recommendations on experimental design for early-tier laboratory studies used in risk assessments to evaluate potential adverse impacts of arthropod-resistant genetically engineered (GE) plants on non-target arthropods (NTAs). While we rely heavily on the currently used proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in this discussion, the(More)